UTTAM KUMAR SAHA

In addition to his training as an architect at the Bangladesh Engineering University, Uttam Kumar Saha (born 1957) has a background in photography and singing. Saha worked with Bashirul Haque and Consociates Ltd, until starting his own practice in 1988 as Nandan Architects, Engineers and Planners. He is a founding member of Chetana Study Group, member of the Executive Committee of the Insitute of Architects Bangladesh (1990-93, 93-95), and has participated in a number of architectural juries and seminars. Saha's work has appeared in a number of publications including A+D Magazine, A+D SAARC Architecture Issue, Mimar, and Marg Publication. He cites the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the architect Muzharul Islam, Louis I. Kahn's work in Dhaka and, above all, Rabindranath Tagore, as inspirations in his work. He credits Rabindranath Tagore especially for having sown a sense of beauty and truth in him.

"My search in architecture is a struggle for expression, a struggle to resolve the contradictions of form - content, simple/complex, nature/built environment, humane/monumental, contemporary/traditional, urban/rural, dream/reality, folk/classical, and so on, through my designs. My architecture, to me, is not my creation, rather I, myself, am one of its ingredients. My belief is in the truth, the simple, the warm, reflecting the nature of the country's people."

PRIYOPRANGAN APARTMENT
DHAKA, 1990

The basic intention was to create something simple in plan yet rich as a living environment. The project frees the structures from the usual image of apartments and creates livable spaces, each of which with its unique individuality. Yet each of them has been set in unison with the others. The entire project grows from the central open plaza, which holds the essence of "priyo prangan," meaning "a community space."
REZA ALI RESIDENCE
DHAKA, 2000-02

An elite, introverted house, intended to negate the surroundings of high-rise structures that are being built nearby. The house has all the appearance of an exclusive enclosure, but the inside is open. The outdoor space combining the lawn, court and garden, is the core of the house, the lawn having been raised to a height of 7'0". The house has its own common spaces, most of which face the road or the lawn with numerous uninterrupted views towards the canal. The plan entertains many dualities — old and new, nature and built-form, and various expressions to suit the taste of four generations living here.



Residence for Reza Ali