EDITORIAL _ Volume-18, Issue-01_ January 2021
Journal of Architecture’ is the new version of the former journal, ‘Protibesh,’ of the Department of Architecture (DoA) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). As mentioned in the previous volume under the current multi-disciplinary Editorial Board, the necessity of reassessing the status of Protibesh has recommended its upgradation to a standard international journal. Following this pathway, the journal has been renamed to draw the attention of the global scholarly platform. However, this issue of the journal included papers at the National level with a specific concentration on the DoA, BUET research papers due to a global crisis. As we all know that the world is currently battling coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) which has been declared as a global pandemic since mid-March 2020. It is undoubtedly arguable that the impacts of this catastrophe on our daily lives are one of the most pungent events in world history. All of us have been affected by the crisis and forced to accommodate all activities online. To maintain pace with the ‘New Normal’ situation the current Editorial Board has initiated an E version of publication of the ‘Journal of Architecture’. From now on all the previous issues of ‘Protibesh’ and future issues of ‘Journal of Architecture’ by the Department of Architecture, BUET will be available online along with the printed versions.
Architecture and allied disciplines are the eventual focus of the ‘Journal of Architecture’. The editorial board has made an effort to involve a large group of scholars and academicians as reviewers. The caliber of the articles reflects their insightful contribution to the journal. The current issue, under the present Editorial Board, has five articles mainly covering the researches on socio-spatial dynamics of resilient homesteads, addressing the issues of climate change resilience from an urban design perspective, evaluating the environmental aspects of vernacular architecture, understanding the performance of urban streets in placemaking and appraising context-sensitive modern architecture in Bangladesh.
The first paper titled ‘Learning from the Vernacular: Exploring the Potentials of Courtyards to Enhance Environmental Delight – A Case of Dhaka’ investigates the daylight and thermal effect of the age-old courtyard strategy of Bengal architecture to ensure a comfortable shelter in a local climate using available materials and known construction technologies developed through several trial-and-error processes. The end results provided influential design guidelines and strategies to attain environmental delight for the future residential housing of Dhaka.
The second paper titled ‘Negotiation of Socio-Spatial Vectors in Addressing Resilience within Households in the Rural and Urban Continuum of Bangladesh’ made an effort to provide an alternative perspective of investigating homesteads, both in the rural and urban continuum grounded in the negotiating vectors of socio-spatial aspects. The investigation has focused on some case studies along with secondary resources to understand how people negotiate with the challenges and the adverse impacts of changing scenario of space and society to address community resilience reflecting ideas of indigenous knowledge and practices.
The third paper published in this issue Titled ‘Sensitivity Towards Context and Climate: An Understanding of Robert G. Boughey’s Architectural Works in Bangladesh’ investigates how the works of architect Robert George Boughey (RGB), the chief architect of Louis Berger Ltd in East Pakistan was well embedded in the context and gradually developed a consistent architectural language, consist of vocabularies developed through intimate scrutiny of the local context. With a mainstream modernist training, how he introduced such architectural vocabulary in the early stage of his career, strikes in mind while visiting his works in Bangladesh. How architect Boughey’s design thoughts responded to this warm humid subtropical climatic context and its unique regional identity in terms of developing the physical attributes in his buildings, remain the main concern of this paper.
The fourth paper titled ‘Integrating Blue-Green-Grey Open Space Network: Sustainable Urban Design Approach for Climate Change Resilience’ attempts to identify the vulnerabilities of possible climate change-induced hazards and identify types and patterns of distribution of open spaces to mitigate the risk and explore their role in making climate change resilient urban areas besides their traditional use. The literature of global scenario also shows that open space networking in an urban area can create a cost-effective climate-change adaptation/resilience approach for urban design. This paper highlights a hybrid approach that integrates the green, blue, and grey open space as an effective, sustainable strategy for climate change adaptation and hazard risk reduction approaches in the urban context.
The last and the fifth paper titled ‘Beyond circulation: forms, quality and performance of urban street’, looks beyond the typical role of conveyance and transport of urban streets that have hosted social, cultural and economic activities historically, in the same way as other public spaces in creating a vibrant urban life. The research suggests that the presence of mixed-use functions, medium length of streets, active building rontage, concave/bulged shape of streets, presence of natural elements, sense of safety, clear visibility, presence of people and landmarks – all add to the positive quality and participation of urban streets. A combination of thorough and closed types with all the above qualities was recommended for newer developments, especially for housing development and design.
I express my greatest appreciation to all the reviewers and technical members who reviewed the articles and advised amendments to the authors. My profound regards to all the members of the Editorial Board and the other Committees related to formatting, printing and publishing for their untold efforts and adaptation with the New-normal situation and to bring this issue of ‘Journal of Architecture’ to light. Amidst of the pandemic situation the process of editing and publication became extremely difficult and hence the current issue has been delayed substantially. We take the responsibility and apologize for any inconvenience towards the authors for the late publication of this volume. We, the present Editorial Board and the Journal of Architecture Committee, take leave from our readers and authors with the hope of further advancement of the journal in the future. Thank You.