Selected Entries 2017


Ayesha Khalil
BRAC University | Dhaka

Background and Objective: From a city of bazars to modern malls: Dhaka city currently is undergoing a sprawl of urban development but at the opportunity cost of public spaces. To deal with the growing population, modifications are witnessed in terms of built form as well as land use. Where the government’s duty is to provide adequate public spaces and affordable scope for economic activities amongst all class of people, the government plots are being leased off and privatized in order to meet the demand with no regards to the problems associated. The built form emerging are constructed prioritizing maximum profit and using maximum FAR leading to non-affordable spaces. However, this phenomenon has a major long-term impact mainly the loss of spaces for public interaction between different backgrounds of people. Over the past two decades, public markets in Dhaka become the main target of privatization, mainly due to their locations. Social interactions, cultural, economic, as well as political activities, have always been a unique spectacle of public markets in the city. However, recent developments of these plots are leading a number of problems such as loss of cultural activities, loss of traditional shopping facilities and most importantly loss of public space. The redevelopments tend to be non-responsive to the users and the environment and also drive away scope for socio-economic activities amongst multiple income groups.  This has an impact both socially and economically, where consumer and producer needs are not analyzed thus leading to sometimes-unsuccessful public commercial spaces. The main objective of this project was to derive policies and strategies for the government to create a balance between commerce and community in public markets. Thus proposing a market that will allow commercial advancements without sacrificing public spaces and proposing a way to make the markets more user and environment responsive. In this project, these proposals are applied on a selected public market.


Site: Gulshan DCC Market is serving a wide variety of consumers starting from locals from high to middle income groups to foreign expats and diplomats. The market has two segments, a “kacha” bazaar (kitchen market) used by consumers looking for fresh and inexpensive products and a “pucca” shopping center (formal retail) including super shops targeted mainly towards high income groups and foreigners.  The market is running inefficiently due to change in consumer expectations in terms of services available as well as the infrastructure of the market Total Area on Site is 3.6 acres with commercial, mixed use and residential buildings surrounding the site.


Concept and Consideration: The core concept is to create a balance between commerce and community ad propose a built form that will be economically feasible owing to the land value without sacrificing the openness of the traditional market. The proposed strategies are generated on the basis of historical trends, practical investigation and survey amongst various stakeholders. The policies are divided into three segments, a business incubator providing inexpensive retail spaces where small-scale business can flourish in prior to entering the retail industry, a creative platform for showcasing local handicraft, craftsman, artists, musicians and delicacies and a social hub for public interactions.


Design brief: After an intensive study of user expectation, contextual demand, consumer demand and supply, the programs are designed and are desrived based on certain aspects: Users, Age, Time and neighborhood. Existing programs were revived along with adding new programs to increase the efficiency and meet consumer expectations. The design of the market comprises of a basement floor acting as a Creative HUB (Sculpture Garden/ exhibition halls) connected to an entertainment hub (Movie theater/Performance Space), public services ( Kitchen market/ farmers market); the ground floor as a free retail space and mainly acting as a pedestrian friendly public space and access way. The three upper levels consisiting of the Multilevel Public Spaces (Outdoor/Indoor), recreation zone (Theater/cinema/library) and an state of the art handicraft hub. Levels above 50’ from ground floors will act as the contemporary mall which can be designed accroding to the revenue demand calculated variying from market to market. A provision is given for this segment but is not desgined in the project.