WOHA is transforming "polluted swamp" into lush green campus
With its upcoming BRAC University campus in Bangladesh, WOHA has to work with a challenging inner-city plot. The project involves turning what the firm calls a "polluted swamp" into a lush green campus that incorporates significant sustainable design, including solar power and rainwater capture systems.
The new BRAC University campus is located in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and also involves Transsolar KlimaEngineering, J.A. Architects, Webstructure, and Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl. The 150-ft (45-m) building is due to be completed sometime in 2021 and is inspired by the local Sundarbarns mangroves.
"Drawing inspiration from the region's Sundarbans, which have separate ecosystems above and below tidal level, WOHA's 950,000 square foot [roughly 88,000 sq m] design for the campus is divided into two distinct programming strata: a private "Academia" raised canopy for learning and the ground-level public "Campus Park" created by remediating the existing polluted swamp into a bio-retention pond with lush native landscaping," says WOHA. "As the heart and social nucleus for over 10,000 students and the wider community, the lower stratum will act as a gathering place complete with the University's auditorium, multi-purpose hall, and public gallery. The "Academia" will shelter the "Campus Park" from Dhaka's strong sun and heavy monsoon rains, while water-enhanced evaporative cooling will further reduce the ambient temperature, creating a comfortable micro-climate."
Turning a polluted swap into a lush campus sounds like the kind of thing that would involve some serious cleanup work but, as of writing, we're awaiting word back from WOHA for more detail on how this is being carried out.
The site is also rather cramped and in a built-up area, so instead of having traditional grounds, the building's running track, swimming pool and recreational field are all going to be located on the rooftop. The area will be shaded by solar panels which will power cooling systems and lighting.
Other planned sustainable and energy-efficient design elements include rainwater capture and greywater recycling, a focus on cross ventilation and maximizing natural light inside. The exterior will feature shaded areas, as well as over 280,000 sq ft (26,000 sq m) of greenery on the walls. Additionally, the interior layout is flexible to adapt to any future changes required.