Concrete “Temple” Reveals Hidden Courtyard Lagoon
July 26, 2012
It’s hard to imagine a home more tranquil than the SA Residence in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Designed by the team at SHATOTTO Architects, the villa consists of tall, tiered concrete volumes, clustered around a central swimming pool that is reminiscent of a serene lagoon. The house’s organization is inspired by the Cartesian (i.e. dualistic) notion of the body, say the architects, who have divided the structure into two parts, namely, the shell (the ubiquitous rectilinear concrete forms) and the soul (the central pool).
The multi-level concrete walls create a private oasis for the homeowners, while the countless windows, all trimmed in a warm caramel colored wood, help to lighten the heaviness usually associated with concrete. The atrium pool also serves a purpose in the design, besides traditional aesthetics, acting as a natural exhaust system that pushes out hot air creating a refuge by the pool.
Both the forms and the material they are fashioned from recall Louis Kahn’s imposing National Assembly Building at Dhaka, which masterfully juxtaposes a moat-like pool encircling a series of monumental concrete structures, enjoined to each other in a medieval-esque mass.