United Kashbon, a complex by United Real Estate, is a multi-story residential building that provides a new definition of living in a green-oriented housing complex in an urban sprawl like Dhaka city. Architect Faisal Mahbub is the maestro behind this state-of-the-art residential complex that is located only a few kilometres away from Gulshan 2.
According to the architect, the biggest problem that Dhaka city faces is the shortage of land. “With an ever-growing population in a land area of just 300 sq km, ‘land’ seems to be the rarest asset in our country. Fortunately, the United Group had a land bank in their possession which is known as United City, situated 2-3 km from Gulshan 2. Initially, the entire land was segmented into individual plots to be sold off to clients. However, the directors later realized that if the entire area is redesigned to create a more improved urban environment, it would benefit both the company and the patrons”, he shares. ‘Meghbon’, a condominium that consists of an area of 54 acres and a CBD (central business district) of 40 bighas of land for United City was developed because of this development idea. The main idea was to create a self-sustaining neighbourhood consisting of mosques, offices, parks, another public realm, and a residential zone.
The team started United Kashbon, a smaller scale development compared to Meghbon, to slowly build up the momentum to create the larger scale project. Thus, United Kashbon was built on a land area of 1 bigha. The structure was used as a test case scenario to understand the needs and requirements of a real estate development of this scale since, according to the architect, “There is no shortcut to experience”. Initially, there were concerns regarding the surrounding environment of the complex as it was amid a green field, however, the client’s response worked as a catalyst for the team to move forward.
The 13-storey complex consists of common facilities on the ground floor and first floor while the rest of the 11 floors comprise 33 apartments in total. Each floor consists of 3 units and has a variety of apartment sizes between 2500-2800 sft (all inclusive). A notable feature of this complex is that the first 2 floors do not have any residential apartments, as people often prefer not to live on the first floor due to factors such as sound pollution, dust pollution, etc.
The main motto while designing this complex was the famous ideology “Form follows function”.
According to the architect, the outward appearance of the complex must reflect the type of function it holds within.
The team tried to integrate the concept of natural ventilation into the complex to create a sustainable and environmentally friendly building.
The name “Kashbon” originates from the fact that the land initially consisted of a ‘kashful’ field which had to be removed to build the complex. However, the team ensured that the green they removed was brought back into the space in the form of terraces and landscaping.
The structure is mainly comprised of concrete beams and columns with brick used as filler material. A design decision that is quite significant is the use of tiles on the exterior. Since Bangladesh is prone to rainfall, the use of plasters and paints on the exterior of the building causes these elements to wash off, resulting in environmental pollution. Therefore, even though the initial expenditure for the tiling was high, it worked in creating a sustainable development that requires little to no maintenance in the long run. All materials except for the marbles are locally sourced, while the tiles are specifically customized according to the requirements of the team. The interior design for the building was kept untouched so that clients can tailor it to meet their needs.
In conclusion, the architect believes this project was a success. However, in architecture, there is always a chance to improve and learn from the past. “Every project is different, every client is different, every site is different. Therefore, every design provides architects with new challenges that require new solutions. So, there is always something new one can learn from a new project. That is the beauty of architecture.”, says Architect Faisal Mahbub.
United Real Estate prefers to differentiate itself by building projects that are distinctive and meaningful rather than simply racking up numbers in our portfolio. Its goal is to establish themselves as the preferred brand for clients who seek quality living through a seamless and holistic experience. United City is the flagship project of United Group. Its immediate priority is to expedite the development of this integrated township. It is well on schedule to complete the construction of United Hospital, Medical College and Nursing College and Masjid Al Mustafa. The company has recently launched the sales of United Charulata and is close to announcing the grandest condominium project in Dhaka. Other than United City, it is on the eve of launching another project near the airport which is going to be an architectural marvel in the retail scene. Every project it initiates is done so with the intent to make it into a new landmark.
Mr. Sheikh Mohammed Faruk Hossain, Director,Sales & Marketing shares, “For an organization as big as ours, the challenges are always evolving especially with global crisis that can directly affect the national economy. Thankfully, the foundational ethos set by the first-generation directors, which have been imbued and embodied by the second-generation directors, and the experience that the company has accumulated over the years have enabled us as a prestigious organization to not only weather these challenges but to also thrive and prosper”.