Group Of Architects & Thinkers (GOAAT)

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Ajo Idea Space

Ajo Idea Space

The uncanny quest to find a spiritual self is next to impossible under the conditions of modernism, especially in a cosmopolitan context. It is even more difficult to locate a space that embraces such motive amidst the relentless persuasion of materialistic needs. Spirituality lies in nature. There is a hidden desire among city dwellers for a space for reflection and reconnecting with nature. Such undertone marks the poiesis of spaces in Ajo-Gulshan. Genius Loci, the spirit of the place, was a guiding principle for the design process, upholding the precedent condition of the site, the soil (composed of lal mati), as well as the location (Gulshan, standing for the garden of roses). The flora and fauna, which enriched the biodiversity of the site over time, were crucial drivers for shaping the built spaces. The entirety of the project is an experience of the place through a gradual revelation of layers of spatial encounters. As the visitor enters through a secret garden, the soft transition is made on brick chips and a wooden ramp, whose subtle bumps were deliberately crafted to trigger attention to details. The noise of the bustling city fades out as the sounds of water and nature emerge. Repurposed wooden planks from abandoned electric poles were used, along with processed chipboards from overseas delivery packages. Metal was used for the framework in such a manner that it could be dismantled. The mosaic floor prepared during the construction of the pre-existing building more than 30 years ago were re-used demarking sustainability. An egalitarian approach to design where all forms of life were prioritized through sensible articulation of built and green spaces. The deliberate curation of  phenomenological encounters is an ode to the spiritual self-imbued through the senses!

Project name:

Ajo Idea Space


Gulshan, Dhaka



Time of Design:


Current State:



Khaled Mahmud