Next Project

Bangladesh_farming the flood market

Part 2 Project 2010
Steven Byrne
University of Strathclyde Glasgow UK
The project developed from investigations of how architecture might respond to rising sea levels and flooding at a large scale. After initial investigations into sites in northern Europe and the Gulf of Mexico, I focused my attention on the flood regions and coastal Bangladesh where flooding is already a major concern but it has a long history of causing major catastrophy to the Bangladeshi people annually. As a result of this seasonal flooding there will be many climate refugees in years to come unless change can be made.

The flooding situation is a consequence of the combination of several factors: the seasonal meltwater that flows from the Himalayas, the low lying riparian country and the economic hardship that prevents adequate investment in appropriate defences.

Following coordination with Housing and Hazards to organise a visit to Bangladesh, I worked with their local NGO workers and met with professionals and students at BRAC University to understand the socio-economic lifestyles of the Bangladeshi culture. From my findings and gathering recordings, interviews and mapping I developed a strategy for mass production of indigenous resources, such as shrimp, seaweed and bamboo - which are currently farmed only on a small scale - in order to generate income to allow investment in a flood defence infrastructure.

The project presented models for large-scale shrimp, seaweed and bamboo farming and a restructured village where the historic centre is retained and a system of banks and floating houses introduced to allow homes to remain dry while water is captured for farming as the floods recede.

Following interest from the Housing and Hazards Organisation about the potential of the bamboo floating structure, I embarked on designing a prototype dwelling made entirely of local bamboo and concrete / rice husk stabilised walls. The prototype dwelling floats on reclaimed oil barrels whilst the use of buoyant foundations allows the dwelling to rise and fall with the flood waters, creating maximum security and comfort during monsoon and flood season. The typology is derived from vernacular style architecture and allows the community to thrive during a time of normal socio-economic hardship.


Steven Byrne


This student's thesis investigations began by exploring how architecture can respond to rising sea levels and flood situations. After initially looking at low-lying areas within Northern Europe and the Gulf of Mexico, the student realised that a more pertinent area for exploration was in Bangladesh, where the problem of flooding is made extremely acute by a combination of factors, as the majority of the country is prone to seasonal and long lasting flooding caused predominantly by the rivers that flow from the Himalayas and harsh economic realities prevent adequate investment in flood defence and the appropriate architectural solutions.

Having established the ¹site¹, the student proceeded to explore Bangladesh in terms of the local, national and international context and to make contact with the Non Government Organisations (NGOs) working in the region that were exploring similar issues.

The student raised funds to allow a 2 week study visit where he met and stayed with local NGO workers, students and professionals at BRAC University (Dhaka City) and explored urban and rural situations whilst gathering information and recording this process.

This student's major innovation was in developing a strategy for the mass production of some indigenous resources such as shrimp, seaweed and bamboo (currently farmed on a small scale), in order to generate income to allow investment in restructuring the villages to brace against flooding.

The final proposition presented models for large-scale shrimp, seaweed and bamboo farming and also a restructured village where the historic centre is retained and a system of banks and floating houses, made from locally sourced bamboo, allows homes to remain dry during flood situations. When flooding occurs water is captured as the floods recede (for shrimp and paddy farming), through the system of designed flood banks.

Tutor(s)


2010
• Page Hits: 8239         • Entry Date: 26 July 2010         • Last Update: 13 September 2010