One With the Universe (1st prize winner of IDC 2015 competition)
There is no race diving us, we’re all talking about the same idea from different perspectives.
When we say “iconic representation”, have we ever stopped for a second and thought, what is the point of it all? We’ve spent years researching on our actual identity, tracing back thousands of years in quest of “to whom we belong” – and now after all these we realize, there is no such thing as “actual identity”. We may have descended from specific human tribes but where did they evolve from? In fact our only connection that we can say for sure is that with the mother earth, the inevitable connection between every living and non-living particle within the earth as well as the universe.
So here we are, proposing the new icon for future decades- “One with the Universe”. It’s more of a philosophy that needs to be cherished than a mere structural monument to look at.
As to the concern of Dhaka city, the capital of Bangladesh, it’s been a silent witness of the changes of human eras and their dynamic cultures for years. Starting from the Aryans and Dravidians of Indus Valley civilization, passing the intermediate reigns of the dynasties of Gupta, Pala, Sena, Mughal and througnout the invasions of the Portuguese, French and English till the present Bangladeshi nation- this city has experienced radical diversities of taste and culture as well as the influences by them. And while digging deeper to the history of the nations we figured, the history of ANY nation is basically the history of mother earth itself. Hence the icon for Dhaka is about welcoming every culture to be a part of it and celebrating the majestic diversity within.
The capital city Dhaka had been adorned with lakes and most of the new Dhaka city lands were constructed by filling lakes. The site is situated in the junction of the lakes near the center of the city, in Gulshan area, from where the new dhaka has basically expanded. Water symbolizes the creation of life. The surrounding water represents flow of life and positive energy.
Structure & landscape:
Our theme being “One with the Universe” i.e. we are all interconnected, eventually leads to the “Gaia hypothesis” – suggested by Dr. James Lovelock in 1960, where it says that the organic and inorganic matter of the planet work as a single organism occurring in a self-regulating complex system. It offers insights into climate change, health, agriculture and other important issue.
In our landscaping and structure of the icon, the symbol of Gaia has been taken as inspiration. The Gaia tree inseparably lies within the entire structure conveying the message of oneness, the same way in which Dhaka lies amidst the cultural diversity, inspiring their unanimity.
The maze of galleries consist of pathways-which can be used for the purpose of exhibition, memorial museum, art centre as per need. The pathways ultimately end up at the base of a magnificient tower at the centre.
the interior of the dome of the tower consists of potraits and photographs of the memorable ancestors of different nations across the world, including the extinct tribes. There are also some places left empty, with a mirror instead. This is where the visitor will find his own reflection and will be able to connect himself to the whole of it. Below it lies the layer of water- which interprets the historical document above in a dynamic approach of life.
The entire structure will rest upon mega floats or “Ponton-type VLFS” stretching upon the area of the lake.
The void in the structure of the pathway are filled by transparent, translucent and solid fill as needed. The transparent part is preferably heat-proof pr heat reflecting low-e glass. Translucent parts can be made up of IR materials for windows.
Pankaj Nath Joy
Nazifa Tabassum Puly