Aga Khan Academy Dhaka wins award for best ‘Future Education Project’ | Aga Khan Academies

Aga Khan Academy Dhaka wins award for best ‘Future Education Project’

20 November 2017

Designs for the forthcoming Aga Khan Academy in Dhaka, Bangladesh won the award for best ‘Future Education’ project at the World Architecture Festival 2017, held on 15-17 November in Berlin, Germany.

The award recognises the excellence of the school’s design as well as the project’s intention to generate positive social impact, which emanates from the mission and values of the Aga Khan Academies and the wider Aga Khan Development Network.

A collaboration between Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios in London and Rafiq Azam of Shatotto in Dhaka, the Academy will be the fourth school in the network of Aga Khan Academies.

Situated on a 20-acre site near the centre of Dhaka in an area of rapid urbanisation, the Academy’s masterplan draws inspiration from historic educational institutions, including the earliest Buddhist universities in the region. A central maidan (communal gathering space) has been included to provide a large open space, and is the symbolic and tranquil core of the campus. In light of increasing density, the Academy’s maidan is protected from future encroachment by buildings on all sides, which have been oriented to maximise sustainability and environmental performance.

Ian Taylor, FCBStudios Managing Partner said: “The design is developing to encompass local construction technology, locally sourced materials and components wherever possible. Climatic challenges relating to humidity control and management of conditions in the monsoon season are addressed through the development of appropriate low energy solutions to ventilation and cooling.”

Continuing the long traditions of learning in Bangladesh, the campus has been designed to promote educational opportunities across a multitude of indoor and outdoor spaces. Oversized decks used as external teaching areas, amphitheatres for multi-functional gathering and informal outdoor seminar spaces will provide opportunities for extending learning amongst students. The aesthetic character of the buildings will also convey meaning and provide connections with local culture and heritage. Drawing on local precedents and expertise, the building façades will utilise locally-made bricks, with the aim of reinvigorating Bangladesh’s longstanding tradition of brick building in the face of modern approaches and imported architectural styles. 

Moyez Alwani, Head of Design for the Aga Khan Academies said: “Our hope is that by emphasising the importance of inherited traditions and connecting these with leading pedagogical design principles, our students will better understand their place in a modern world.”

The project is planned for construction commencing in 2018.

Click here to see a photo gallery of the designs for the Aga Khan Academy Dhaka.