Khudi Bari: Bangladesh’s ‘perfect’ home to combat climate change

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 9:08 am

The Vitra campus currently receives 350,000 visitors per year. The campus is not just a corporate museum but a unique collection of contemporary architecture, promoted by one of the world’s most prestigious furniture companies and a manufacturer. The campus is deeply associated with some of the leading designers of modernism such as Charles and Ray Eames.

A steep-roofed house clad in corrugated metal occupies the campus. Echoing the industrial look of the structure, the house glistens in the June sun. The Vitra project is the result of an in-depth study of local architecture and a unique initiative to create sustainable design homes of the future. The house in this project is named Khudi Bari (small house). By looking at this house, it will seem like a peaceful house in a rural environment.

A large manufacturing complex is located in Weil-am-Rhein, southwest Germany, near the Swiss border. The complex belongs to Swiss furniture and design manufacturer Glas, maker of products such as the Eames lounge chair and the futuristic Panton molded chair. There the corrugated metal roof structure looks like a whimsical little pavilion. It is a house designed to combat the most catastrophic consequences of climate change in Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries in the world.

The Khudi house (“small house” in Bengali) has established itself as an enduring fixture of design culture on the Vitra campus. a Herzog & de Meuron showroom on that campus; a design museum by Frank Gehry; A conference center in Tadeo Adro; Nicholas Grimshaw and Alvaro Cesar Factory; Zaha Hadid even has a fire station.

It is reported that the tiny house cost about the same as buying a mid-priced Vitra chair to build. The price of which is about 500 dollars including wages. The house is as easy to build as it is to dismantle for reuse. It is universally applicable and manufacturing materials such as bamboo, profiled metal sheets and few metal fasteners are also readily available.

The builder of this private house is Bangladeshi architect Marina Tabassum. He invented this design to solve the problem of providing housing in flood prone areas of Bangladesh.

Tabassum said that two-thirds of Bangladesh is a delta. There are about 700 rivers in the country. Millions of people lose their homes every year due to floods in the country. This is why I and my fellow designers first used these houses in the delta. Here in Weil-am-Rhine it perfectly resembles a rustic-chic picnic set.

The small house can be easily used in areas that flood every year, Tabassum said.

According to Tabassum, the construction of private houses in areas prone to frequent floods makes relocation easier. It means that the house made of simple and easy-to-use materials can be easily dismantled as well as easily moved to another place and erected again.

Tabassum also said that simple bamboo and corrugated roofing and steel connectors (a welded cluster of small tubes) are required for this house. We are already working with local companies for casting clusters so that users can get them easily and within reach of their needs.

The ground floor of the small house was left open and the upper floors were occupied by the Japanese. It has a wooden frame and white panels, large, glazed windows with hinged shutters that encourage cross ventilation and simple wooden floorboards. It’s sparse but cozy, with that deep pitch creating an interior like an alpine lodge. As a result, even if the lower level is flooded, there will be no difficulty in living above, said Tabassum.

People living on the banks of the river can tell if another flood is coming by watching the movement of the water. As a result, they can demolish houses before the flood arrives.

Vitra Campus Architects has a long history of trying to solve the world’s housing problems with brilliantly engineered solutions. In fact, right next to Tabassum’s little house is the Diogenes house, designed by Renzo Piano in 2013. This is another minimal dwelling, autonomous and shown to be possible to build as cheaply as possible, but more expensive than a detached house, Fehlbaum commented.

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