Anna Heringer on the project ‘Anandaloy’ in Rudrapur, Bangladesh, 2017-2020. The project is the winner of the OBEL AWARD 2020.
Surrounded by lush green paddy fields in northern Bangladesh stands a curving building in two storeys built out of mud and bamboo. The mud walls curve and dance, and a big ramp winds up to the first floor. Below the ramp are caves that provide either a fun place to move around or a quiet space if you need for a moment to feel protected and embraced.
The building is called Anandaloy, which means The Place of Deep Joy in the local dialect of Bangla/Bengali.
German architect Anna Heringer is behind the unconventional, multifunctional building that hosts a therapy centre for people with disabilities on the ground floor and a textile studio on the top floor producing fair fashion and art.
Celebrating diversity and inclusion
“What I want to transmit with this building is that there is a lot of beauty in not following the typical standard pattern,” Anna Heringer explains.
“Anandaloy does not follow a simple rectangular layout. Rather, the building is dancing, and dancing with it is the ramp that follows it around. That ramp is essential, because it is the symbol of inclusion. It is the only ramp in the area, and as the most predominant thing about the building, it triggers a lot of questions. In that way, the architecture itself raises awareness of the importance of including everyone. Diversity is something beautiful and something to celebrate,” she adds.
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