Rudrapur, Dinajpur District, Bangladesh
Eight students of the BRAC University in Dhaka (Bangladesh), as well as five students from the University of Art in Linz/ project studio BASEhabitat (Austria), came to a small and remote village in the North of Bangladesh, Rudrapur, to continue what has started with the Handmade METI-School. The METI-school process strengthens working together with the local people on a model for sustainable, modern architecture in a dynamic process. The HOMEmade project aims to improve the local population's living conditions and enhance national identity while maintaining the current high level of sustainability concerning home construction. This objective is accomplished by building three model houses for low-income village families designed by young local architects and built by local craftspeople who have been trained in modern mud, clay and bamboo building techniques. These three family houses result from a hands-on workshop for students and young architects conducted in a remote rural area of Bangladesh. It is the expectation that the young architects will be able to carry their knowledge and skills to other regions of Bangladesh, and the trained labour will be able to use their skills to build other modern mud homes in the region.
The HOMEmade project by Anna Heringer is an example of New Wood Open Architecture. It demonstrates how participation; on behalf of the inhabitants, the architects and students, can immensely positively impact the resulting architecture’s economic, social and cultural significance. The design and construction process are seamlessly integrated into an educational opportunity for a variety of stakeholders. Local materials like earth, mud, clay and bamboo are elegantly used to construct the dwellings, and this process is an opportunity to educate participants respecting local building practices and sustainability. The homes themselves are modest but display an impressive sensitivity to the surrounding context. This project offers significantly more than simply a shelter by teaching the occupants how to build their homes. Replicating these techniques throughout the area provides additional housing or expands the original structure to adapt to changing housing needs.