The Concrete House of Green Water
Centered around a courtyard of cool green water, is this very intriguing concrete residence from SHATOTTO Architects.
The soaring passive design brings in the prevailing cool breezes during the hot humid summer, and traps the warmth of the sun during winters under the high wooden rafters of the glass roof.
This central water court acts directly as a natural cooling element, exhausting the hot air and bringing relief from the sultry climate of in Dhaka, Bangladesh from within the central courtyard.
The only wood seen is as you get to the interiors of the house, where it contrasts with the light bounced off the polished concrete floors.
“A small “dingi” boat waiting by the “ghat”, patch green and light with its silence, the space becomes a natural habitat within a manmade dwelling and the layers of understanding to unfold nothingness,” according to the architects.
The boat is possibly merely decorative, or could it be used to slow the pace of movement within the house to a glide from room to room?
Whether the occupants actually use the dingy in this way, it adds to the serene mystery of the very unusual boxy central space in this house.
At the heart of this glossy-surfaced house is the green water, according to the architects, “symbolizing nothingness yet capturing, reflecting and refracting the sky, flying birds, smiling sun, shying moon and so on.”
Within its elaborate concrete confines, another vast green expanse of nature is repeated far above the green of the water.
Out of respect for the socio economic condition of Dhaka, the extravagant residence conceals itself by appearing to be a public building.
So the large house is concealed in plain view in an urban neighborhood of high rises.
Making a hole for the sky, concrete is tricked into behaving like a very different material.
“Its all about touching and feeling soul,” say the architects. “The destiny is ‘nothingness’ where soul and shell cohabit and purify themselves. Let the soul come inside the home and let go off it. And let it be and let it be…”