Hurray for Anandaloy | The Daily Star

A structure made of local materials at Dinajpur’s Rudrapur village has been selected for an international architecture award.

Anandaloy, an eye-catching construction made out of natural resources such as mud and bamboo situated in Biral upazila, some 25kms away from Dinajpur district town, was named winner of the Obel Award 2020 on October 21.

It hosts a therapy centre for people with disabilities on the ground floor and a textile studio on the top floor producing fair fashion and art.

“The material used for the construction is available all across Bangladesh, but they are enough to meet international standards,” said Abu Towab Md Shahriar, assistant professor at the Department of Architecture of Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University (HSTU) in Dinajpur.

Mud, bamboo and paddy residue were used as materials for all three structures, which were built in different styles.

The initiative was funded by Dipshikha, a non-government organisation. German architect Anna Heringer was the designer of Anandaloy.

A distinguished international jury elects the winning project of the Obel Award, which comes with a prize money worth 1,00,000 euro.

Montu Ram Shaw, supervisor of the construction work for the building, said the 253 square metre two-storied structure looks like a giant sea ship from the front. Built in the middle of a lush green field, the building’s basement was constructed using brick, cement, and sand, while tins were used as the roof.

The building is dedicated to differently-abled people, Montu said while talking to this correspondent during a visit on Tuesday.

Montu said the 10-room building is 110ft in length, 40ft in width, and 22ft in height. The building boasts toilets with modern facilities on both floors. Besides, there are staircases that enjoin the two floors.

The supervisor said a team of 22 people built Anandaloy. It took them around a year to construct the building, at a cost of around Tk 70 lakh.

“With this building, everything comes together: local materials, local energy sources, and global creativity,” Anna Heringer said in an interview on the Obel Award web site.

“First of all, it is important to me to show that you can create something out of existing materials. The material below our feet and the things that grow around us are enough to make something beautiful.

Secondly, Anandaloy is completely run by solar energy, and human labour and craftsmanship were also very important sources of energy in the project. And finally, inspiration for the design came from Bangladesh but also from beyond.”

Obel Award is an international prize for architecture that honours recent and outstanding architectural contributions to human development all over the world. The award also aims to increase awareness regarding the transformative and social values of architecture.

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