The brief was for a settlement of around 100 people in a coastal region of an LEDC, with a focus on resilience against flooding.
Our solution focused on embracing existing venaculars – using a ‘universal platform’ that would raise them up above foreseeable flood levels. This would allow longer term development of the settlement using traditional construction methods and layouts. In the case of Southern Bangladesh, that vernacular is for timber/bamboo construction with walls and roofs of very low thermal mass, with individual buildings loosely placed around a central courtyard. However, our concept would allow most local vernaculars to be placed upon the platform, allowing applicability in a variety of regions.
Our design also borrowed directly from the existing vernacular and its techniques, with a raised road providing a refuge modelled after traditional raised areas of ground using rammed earth, viti, used in Bangadesh to provide protection to homesteads.
We chose a strategy of flood mitigation rather than flood prevention. In particular, we were inspired by work to replant mangrove forests, providing social, economic and environmental benefits.