By Sarara Hasan
Dhaka is an ever-changing mega city. Everything is always evolving in unpredictable ways. Besides the traffic, everything moves fast here. So it is no surprise that even the architecture in Dhaka goes through a real phase of metamorphosis to keep up with the growing city. Estates are becoming scarce so this is changing the way architects think when designing buildings. High rise apartments and commercial buildings are growing rapidly in number. It has also become a challenge for architects and engineers to come up with ways to make these buildings as functional and aesthetic as possible in order to catch up with the city. However, it is no secret that commercial buildings in Dhaka are following some common trends in architecture. On that note, here are the top 5 architectural elements that can be found in Dhaka commercial buildings.
Decorative Shading Devices
Commercial buildings usually have glass covering 80% of the facades. In a country with a tropical climate like Bangladesh, it is vital to provide proper shading to any sort of building. Be it commercial or residential, whether for sunny days or rainy ones. One of the top architectural elements is decorative shading devices, the common one being louvers. The materials vary from wooden to glass and to aluminum. Architects have been experimenting with how they place the louvers on the windows, including the order and the arrangement of the louvers for the purpose of creating an aesthetic appeal to the design of the building. It is a way to prevent a commercial building from looking boring.
Exposed Concrete Facades
Bringing back the topic of the climatic conditions in Bangladesh, another one of the top architectural elements in the commercial buildings of Dhaka is the exposed concrete façade. Concrete is not only economically feasible but it is sustainable in that it suits Bangladeshi weather, has a long lifespan, is low maintenance, and responds well to our environment. Concrete in commercial buildings expresses a raw and natural characteristic, which explains why it is common to see concrete used heavily to feed into the aesthetic of a building.
There is no doubt that Dhaka is turning into a concrete jungle completely. Grass is being replaced with pavements, while trees are being replaced with buildings. The color green is being substituted with grey. It is disturbing for the human eyes, and most definitely for the environment and the future of the environment. However, commercial buildings these days in Dhaka can be seen to have a green element to their design. More often than not, introducing green features to the building is a main focus of the designers. It is refreshing to see a building expressing its beautification by being adorned with plants and flowers.
Grand Entrances and Lobbies
A building should be as inviting as possible. Buildings are made for people, after all. The modern commercial building in Dhaka is bound to have grand entrances and lobbies. Where visitors enter through a big gate and are greeted with water bodies or fountains, creating an incredible first impression on them. These days, it can be seen that lobbies have high ceilings to make room for glistening chandeliers and large artworks. A lot of work is put into designing the entry to a building and the lobby that comes after it. Sometimes it creates an illusion of ample space even if the building seems slim or short from the exterior.
In architectural terms, a tower is what you call the highest point of a building. In the case for the commercial buildings in Dhaka, towers have become a very important element to express the finishing touch of a building. It is the icing on the cake or the cherry on top.
Because of the fast-paced growth of a city, it is important for architects to put thought into erecting a building. It should be ensured that the building embodies a personality of its own and does not just become a bland, mass-produced apartment for sale in Dhaka.
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