There is plenty of talent in the country who possess the kind of design ideas that Bangladesh needs
Congratulations to Saif Ul Haque, an architect from Bangladesh, for being among the winners of the first prize for the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2019, with the ceremony to be held in Kazan, Russia.
While the prize money of $1 million will be shared with the other winners, who come from Bahrain, Palestine, Russia, Senegal, and the UAE, this win is a wonderful achievement which should serve as an encouragement for Bangladeshi architects to work on innovative projects.
The winning project could not be more relevant to our present times, when the threat of climate change looms large over the whole world, with Bangladesh in a particularly precarious situation.
The design is for a school for underprivileged children; it has an amphibious structure that can rest on land but also float on water without disrupting the surrounding eco-system. It has space for a pre-school, hostel, nursery, as well as a vocational training centre.
Architecture, like any other discipline, needs to evolve with the times, and it is good to see that work is being done in Bangladesh that has functionality and sustainability in mind.
For too long, structures have been built in Bangladesh, particularly in our urban areas, with little to no consideration of the environmental impact, or how it affects overall liveability. Year after year, our capital city is branded as one of the most unliveable cities in the world, and that never comes as a surprise.
But there is plenty of talent in the country who possess the kind of design ideas that Bangladesh really needs as it tackles with numerous challenges. It is time the authorities supported the implementation of some of these worthwhile projects.