Asian University for Women
20/A M.M. Ali Road
The plan for the future campus of the Asian University for Women has been developed by the world renowned architectural firm Moshe Safdie and Associates.
From Moshe Safdie and Associates:
The future campus of the Asian University for Women can be likened to a microcosm of a village or a small town. Given its relative isolation from the dense urban fabric of Chittagong, it must possess a certain element of self-sufficiency. It accommodates, in addition to the facilities for academic instruction, residences for both students and faculty, together with a wide range of social and cultural facilities that must serve the community – classrooms, lecture halls and libraries are complemented by performing arts and sports facilities, convenience shops and the range of places for social interaction.
The design must emerge out of considerations of the character of the site, its particular climate, the cultural heritage of the region and the available resources and technology for construction. The unique site is shaped by a series of valleys and ridges with a fragile flora susceptible to damage by erosion. The form of the site provides a strong determinant for the design. A sequence of continuous courtyards and water basins in the valley act as the principal organizing device for academic structures. The residential facilities follow the contour lines atop the ridges, reinforcing the natural topography and creating an edge to the campus.
The design must also respond to the climate – the intense heat of certain seasons and the driving monsoons. Academic buildings should not be concentrated in singular mega-buildings, as one might consider in the west, but rather should be in clusters of limited height (four stories), woven together by a connected network of arcades – protected from the sun and the rain, but open to the elements. Water, shade, and the integration of plant life in the architecture are common themes in the architecture of the region and should form the framework for the architecture. Above all, the design must facilitate and encourage interaction between students, faculty, administration and visitors. The focal points for this interaction are the central "greenway" and the linked courtyards and terraces, urban living rooms where a variety of facilities attract everyone to a place conducive in its character to the making of “community.”