Anandaloy: Centre for People with disabilities + Dipdii Textiles workshop
The Anandaloy Building (still under construction till Summer 2019) will host a center for people with disabilities combined with a textile workshop. Unlike the other projects that were under German supervision, the site is managed by the local contractor, Montu Ram Shaw and the team of the mud and bamboo workers from the village, including two persons with disabilities.
Often people with disabilities are seen as a kind of punishment and challenge from God or bad Karma from a former life. Because of this they are rather hidden, than included. Besides this poverty forces every grown up member in the family to work and mostly people with disabilities are left on their own during the day. Places for therapy are rare in the country and not existing at all in that area of Rudrapur.
In the beginning the building was planned as a therapy center only, but we were able to extend the building into another story, hosting a workshop for the mainly female tailors in the village. The concept was not only to provide therapeutic treatment for the people with disabilities, but also provide them an opportunity to learn and work in that building and engage in the community there. Everybody wants to be needed.
As a visible sign of this inclusion a big ramp winds up the first floor. It is the only ramp in that larger area. Already during the construction it has been topic of discussions amongst the many local visitors that are coming to see the site. What is the reason for that ramp? Why is it important to guarantee access to everyone, no matter if healthy or not? How can the lives of people with disabilities be improved? How can inclusion be incorporated?
The building's architecture explores the plastic abilities of mud in order to create a stronger identity. Mud is regarded as poor material and inferior to brick for example. To show the beauty and capacity of mud, it is needed to bring out the best of it and not just to treat it as a cheaper version to brick. With that particular mud technique, called cob, no formwork is needed and curves are just as easy to be done than straight walls. Unlike the other buildings in that area that are erected in a rectangular layout, the Anandaloy Building breaks out of the mold. It dances in curves, a ramp winds playfully around its inner structure. On a symbolic level the building signals: it is great that we human beings are all different. With it's joyful curves it radiates the message: diversity is wonderful!
Start of planning: September 2017
Construction: September 2018 - May 2018
Client: Dipshikha Bangladesh
Site: Rudrapur, Dinajpur district, Bangladesh
Sponsor: Kadoorie Foundation, Lutz & Hedda Franz Charitable Trust
Concept and design: Anna Heringer
Project management/drawings: Stefano Mori
Consulting: Martin Rauch (earth and bamboo details), Andreas Guetling (roof construction), Emmanuel Heringer (bamboo roof)
Contractor: Montu Ram Shaw
Building footprint: 253 m2
Floor area: 174 m2 (rooms), 180 m2 (ramp and veranda)
Materials/techniques: fired brick foundation, mud walls (cob technique), bamboo pillars/ceilings and roof structure, straw roof (lower roof), metal sheet roof (upper roof)