Brac University commissioned Ci+AU to design the interior of a number of key buildings, located at the Residential Semester (RS) Campus of Brac University at Savar, an industrial outpost on the outskirts of Dhaka. Our first question was: What does the RS Campus want to be? To find an answer to this question, we first sought to understand what goes on at the RS Campus. The essential objective of this campus—a rare privilege offered by a university in Bangladesh—is to create an immersion program, focused on three subject areas: Bangladesh Studies; Ethics and Culture; and English. It is a life-style campus that seeks to prepare students with a comprehensive yet critical understanding of their motherland, an ethical worldview, and English language competency.
Our first challenge was to design the interior of the main dining facility, central library, cafeteria, and faculty offices. Additionally, we had to reimagine the courtyard of the main academic building as a place of gathering, a sort of agora of student life. We asked ourselves: what kind of interior space would create the most immersive environment? We came up with a fundamental insight: how could space itself be a system of knowledge production? How can space facilitate learning?
Each building interior then became a conceptual and thematic book, an immersive board where “knowledge” becomes a constant visual panorama. The dining facility is transformed into a “geography book” focusing on Bangladesh’s numerous rivers, river poems, and riverine vessels. The library interior becomes a book of innovation and biographies of innovators. The walls and columns of the library highlight the work of innovators and creators, from Leonardo da Vinci to Jagadish Chandra Bose, from Muzharul Islam to Louis Kahn. The walls of the cafeteria become the backdrop for learning about the musical instruments of Bengal, all set in evocative colours.
Residential Semester at Savar Project Physical Images