Chandgaon Mosque, Bangladesh – 2010 Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Shortlist

One of the 19 nominees for the 11th Cycle of The Aga Khan Award for Architecture

Location: Chittagong, Bangladesh (South Asia)
Architect: Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury
Client: Faisal M. Khan
Completed: 2007
Site size: 1048 m²

This mosque on the suburban periphery of the port of Chittagong in Bangladesh seeks to fulfil the traditional role of a mosque as both a place of spirituality and as a gathering place for the community. The architect began by identifying the essential elements of a mosque to create a new form and articulation for a typology that goes back for a millennium and a half. The result is this monolithic and spare mosque, pared down to two identical cuboid structures. The first is the front court, its heavy masonry walls punctuated with low, wide openings onto the surrounding landscape, with a large eyelike opening above. In the second volume, the naturally lit mihrab wall is balanced by an iconic, cut dome. While the apertures give a sense of openness and draw in light and ventilation by day, by night they allow light to shine out of the mosque like a beacon. With its stark, geometric clarity, the Chandgaon mosque stands apart from many such structures that have reduced architectural features associated with the usual mosque type to the level of kitsch. It makes a definitive architectural statement in a different direction, pointing to the contemporary, to a desire to live in spaces that reflect the universal values of the present day.

For more information, please see:!/pages/Aga-Khan-Award-for-Architecture/149714823785

To be added

Kampung Improvement, Bina Karya Development – Yogjakarta

Improvement of Sidomulyo

The kampung of Kricak and Sidomulyo are located approximately 5km to the north-west of the centre of Yogyakarta on the banks of the Winongo river. The two kampungs are located adjacent to one another. Kricak, to the east is older andmore establish, was originally settled by workers employed in  crushing rocks from river. Sidomulyo is situated on the south bank contained by a bend in the river and linked to kricak  by a concrete bridge which.

Procurement is an initial process of the idea. In order to give an equal share of the community, big clay jar is given to every each of the house owner. The multi-usage of it will then create a language for the street-scape.

Development of Bina Karya


Site Plan

Phenomenological Space gives life to architecture!

It is interesting on one end, but in my point of view, the architecture is dying!

Architecture is becoming less attractive, dying sooner or later. Less body interaction in real world makes life boring and unexciting. Building is no longer a destination, but a ‘place’ of aesthetical form is expressed plus this type of ‘place’  draws certain limitations for the space to extend its potentials.

“it (architecture)  will continue to exist, but in the state of dissapearance.” (Paul V, 1998)

At the same time, the ‘Other’ world has now become part of our life, the virtual world. Virtual reality is a new direction of the world. We have to accept the fact that our world is no longer alone, but living with untouchable entities created by us. Virtual life is expanding very fast with the  rapid growth of technologies which at the same time putting the reality in unstable matter. We could no longer convince ourselves between real and fiction. The virtual world is chasing the real world by means of cyberspace; a project or concept in a manner of concreting the real world into imagination, perception, abstraction and memory.

Cyber space depends on bodily experience

However, this cyberspace could not exist by itself. It consists of virtual reality, data visualisation, graphic user interfaces, multimedia, hyper graphics, and yet it still depends on real body experience to be hallucinated as space. Body experience perceives objects and places in virtual reality through sensation, reaction, expectation called as interaction.

Base on body theory, people who mentally ‘enter’ the virtual world have bodily experience of controlling the key location , rewriting the law of physics and defying their physical constraint in real world. The most outstanding artefact that generates the biggest interaction of user in virtual world is video games.

Enhancing interaction by games or play

Games is an ergodic artifacts which contains settings; code or material string of command, and architecture; the hallucinated journey designed by the game designer. It is a set of rules that can assign new fictional world without modifying the rules. As mentioned by Miguel S, code regulates possibilities of the architecture (journey of games) determines the way it can evolve. (Walz, 2010)

Some socialist believed that games is a media that makes inviduals isolated from his or her society. However, Castranova (2005) mentioned that games are not focussing on individuals, but community. By having massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) gamers from all over the world can create their own virtual community based on their interest, but not in their real life. This happened due to wrong direction of built environment which encourage no interaction between people and its elements. The value of our built environment has been brought into virtual life, the games arena. It might happen in the future, our body will be isolated in one tiny room like a coffin, that connects our minds completely to a virtual world with the bodies are represented by Avatars. The interaction in virtual wold might be greater that the real world. Perhaps, in the future, our real world built environment is no longer needed. It holds the concept of ” Greater realism has greater immersion.” They are pushing the boundaries of virtual world, blurring the identity of both. For instance, Wii Sports combine real body actions with virtual effects, while games like Counter Strike or Call of Duty constitute of virtual characters in utmost  real playing environment. Players can easily immense logical game that obeys real rules of physics which combine both virtual and real.

Wii Sports

Call of duty

Games provide a framework allowing us to see things differently. When we talk about games, we will definitely talk about play. Games provide experience of play that reveals people creativity, curiosity and imagination in the fact of moving through, sense the setting and act within it. It involves difficulties and complexities of drawing the relation of objects, actions, perceptions and intentions. According to Steven (2007), people playing well designed games are able to create intrinsic motivation in them. Therefore, it means players a learners as well. Plus, (Vygotsky,1978) mentioned ” Play involves imaginary situations mandatory for learning and child development.” It means that games is a tool that can easily influence people even kids.

Even games obey  four principle of play; needs, desires, personal growth and freedom, Katie Salen mentioned that meaningful play emerges from the interaction between players and the system of the games. (Borries, Walz & Bottger, 2007)
It has somehow put me in a condition of epiphany, where I realized that the video games is not a kid stuff anymore.

How to bring interaction into spatial design

How to adapt those interactions into spatial design ? We could easily draw the relationship if we got the idea of space constitution. What is a space? Based on surveys I have done in my school, Utas School of Architecture, most of the architecture students imagine space with blank 2d or 3d space, leaving behind the forth dimension in reality, time. According to Big Bang theory, time that exist enable us to identify the temporal dimension of phenomenon; before, while and after. Time, a non spatial dimension could not be diminished but could be expanded relative to the motion of light in a space. Time is measured by a phenomenon of physical motion or energy transmission which are related and interchangeable in space.

Why temporal dimension is important in creating space? We have to accept that architectural design seems to focus more on the three dimensions of built space than the temporal dimension that emerges as we start to use the space, due to the traditional design tools of architecture. By considering time, it gives the idea that human movement should be designed as well. People has their typical movement when dealing with objects in a space which is called body schema. Having elements that can extend the possibilities of body movement which obeys the four games principles, it will turn the space into half real space of interaction or  a dynamic space where movement can be unfold.

Lefebre, a French structuralist argues” The city must be place of waste, for one wastes space and time, and everything mustn’t been foreseen and funtional. The most beautiful city was those where festivals were not planned but it was a space where they could unfold.” (Steven, 2007)

People who see the settings would have different perception with people who interact with them. And the people who interact with the settings  would have different experience with people who interact with both, the settings and the other people. Therefore, we can conclude that space generation of phenomena in one undefined space that encourage interactions between people,will construct social relationship between users. Hence, the space can be called as a SOCIAL SPACE.

Of course, it might not happen as designer’s wish, but at least some possibilities can be drawn within the designed ruled space. Different people will bring different perception and therefore different reaction might occur in one PHENOMENOLOGICAL SPACE.

Phenomenological space gives life to architecture

Phenomenological space is an abstract, half real space that challenges possibilities of operation. It exists by senses and presumption, rather normally seen and known. By giving values to the rhythmic movement or body schema due to certain arrangement of ergodic settings, it will turn a space into a dynamic living space where people can investigate and challenge the possibilities continuously.  The player will experience other people’s imagination and perception with self encouragement to explore, and is given opportunity in becoming virtuoso. As mentioned by Stevens (2007), designers should never design the actual play experience, but the framework wherein that experience will take place from the possible interaction.

It is strongly argued by Naos (2000), ” When  human and spatial form(s) relationship become interactive, Architecture comes alive.”
While William S Burroughs quotes ” A body exist to be other bodies.” (Beckmann, 1998)

This creation of space by using unfixed loose elements definitely is a risky proposition with no guaranteed benefits, but as incomplete space, endlessly completed by people who use it.

by Azizul Hakim Musa

Lets think how our architecture can encourage activities like in the video below, a place to remember. Cheers!

LO2P skyscraper, New Delhi

Atelier CMJN
Julien Combes, Gaël Brulé


Conceived as a giant turbine the LO2P skyscraper would be located in New Delhi, one of the most polluted cities in the world due to the exponential increase in population and cars -it is estimated that number of cars grows by one-thousand every day.

The idea behind this skyscraper is to recycle the old cars and use them as building material for the new structure. The building is designed as a giant lung that would clean New Delhi’s air through a series of large-scale greenhouses that serve as filters. Another set of rotating filters capture the suspended particles in the air while the waste heat and carbon dioxide from the recycling center are used to grow plants that in turn produce bio-fuels.

Via Evolo

Voronoi Skyscraper

Geoffrey Braiman, David Beil
United States

We live in a stacked world. The unending array of floor slabs do very little to further the human condition beyond limited, linear, regular, and expected. The city of the future is a multivalent hybrid reliant on strong infrastructure. While the current street grid and utility infrastructure have facilitated changes for centuries, the limit to its effectiveness and expansion is tied directly to its horizontality. The most common solution to densification is to stack volumes, insert a circulation core, and then subdivide the resulting spaces. This approach repeats the ineptitude of the street grid by rotating its vector perpendicular and extruding the form. This affords little flexibility in the variety of spaces or in the ability for the resultant tower to grow and change over time. In order to adapt, we must look for alternative organizing strategies to accommodate our changing needs.

As a matter of necessity, natural systems continually reorganize until the best possible solution is realized. By analyzing data generated by natural physical phenomenon it is possible to extract mathematical rules that replicate the physics of nature, so rather than conforming to column and slab construction techniques, a skyscraper based on nature results in a streamlined structure that:

1. Minimizes materials.

2. Accommodates variable programs

3. Grows and evolves over time.

These three properties represent the tenets for successful future tower design. Two-Dimensional and Three-dimensional Voronoi tessellations are now commonly applied in architectural concepts as a means of dividing space based on irregular data points. While this results in aesthetically interesting design, the translation into the built environment is ineffective as Voronoi is used to study data relationships instead of structural ones.

The field of protein research developed an accurate formula for defining properties of foam, a natural-world analog of Three-dimensional Voronoi. Foam is an incredibly lightweight and efficient structure that is the basis of soap films, bone, sponges, and coral, among others. Instead of relying on a scatter of points, it is based on the packing of spheres in the same way that cells aggregate and ossify over time into structural systems. By assigning program to spheres of varying radius (program spheres), the architect packs program according to common requirements such as adjacencies, access to sun, views, etc. The program spheres can then be converted into an accurately modeled Three-dimensional array of irregular planar polygons using scripts designed to follow the protein structure algorithm. The intersection of irregular polygons creates a structurally sound network of tetrahedral nodes that can be thickened to form the tower infrastructure.

In order for each program sphere to be modeled correctly, additional “ghost spheres” must be packed around the program sphere cluster. These ghost spheres set the geometry for future expansion of the foam tower infrastructure. As growth dictates, ghost spheres may become new program spheres, and allow for growth over time. Adjacent sites may be acquired to facilitate structural connections to the ground.

A packed, cellular structure encourages a new way of thinking. In our foam skyscraper, the concept of neighbor is drastically changed. In a typical tower, one might have only six neighbors. In foam structures, adjacencies exist in up to 27 directions. To shift from a stacked environment to a packed environment, we create a revolutionary change in how we think about skyscrapers as tools to facilitate our social, cultural, and economic evolution in the 21st century.

Via Evolo