Ishtiaq Residence in the heart of Nikunja comprise of a land area of 3 katha and built area of 1160 sq. ft. The adversarial shape and size of the site was a challenge in accommodating the program for a comfortable layout, especially for a residence plan. In response to the site, the building received a triangulated shape despite the tight corners, interior spaces allowed for the fresh air and generous ambience. The outer expression of the building was more an abstraction than a literal expression of the interior. Peripheral walls were clad with Serra Board, an architectural cladding material, expresses timber like surface quality and punctuated with larger windows whenever required, creating a series of curious thresholds between the insider and outsider. In its three levels above the ground and the basement below, the residence offered three bedrooms with their required ancillary spaces, living room with a comfortable veranda, family space, large working kitchen, rooftop garden and a water garden around the property.
Architect Salauddin Ahmed was involved in several projects of Cafe Mango. Cafe mango stands on the idea of “presence of absence” in the city. It denies, if any, pretension in its design. It also dismisses any “borrowed ideas” in its construction. Only upon closer examination, it reveals the honesty it possesses. Dhaka city thrives on chaos and untold complexities. It is a geography that has been experiencing tremendous transformation in a “Still Becoming” phase of mosaics, diverse backgrounds, and all spaces in between. What animates this city: the fabric of urban sprawl tagged as “Building Production,” or the moving bodies that occupy every inch of this fabric? Whether you call it a constructed reality or unplanned nightmare, Dhaka is weighed down far below the danger line of healthy living. At a closer look, Dhaka reveals her honest to-god-self; a “Cuckoo’s Nest” littered with materials from all corners of the globe without any real reason. Its round-the-clock struggle to survive, under the weight of too many people, makes one wonder how this city will reach harmony in urban living. Even in a city with over fifteen million people, we feel lonely, and find no room to be alone. But all is not lost; Dhaka still offers precious opportunities for new things and exciting ideas. Cafe Mango is a literal translation of carving and etching, like a print maker on a zinc plate. In each successive layer of its design, it reveals the language of the investigation and the materials that got investigated.