Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban is the National Assembly Building of Bangladesh, located in the capital Dhaka. It was created by architect Louis Kahn and is one of the largest legislative complexes in the world comprising 200 acres (800,000 m²). It houses all parliamentary activities of Bangladesh.
The construction of the building was started in 1964, but due to the liberation war the work was disturbed and in 1982 it was completed. There are 9 blocks of the building, it is 163 feet high. Louis Kahn designed the entire Jatiya Sangsad complex, which includes lawns, lake and residences for the Members of the Parliament (MPs). The architect's key design philosophy was to represent Bangladeshi culture and heritage, while at the same time optimizing the use of space.
The exterior of the building is striking in its simplicity, with huge walls deeply recessed by porticoes and large openings of regular geometric shapes. The main building, which is at the center of the complex, is divided into three parts - the Main Plaza, South Plaza and Presidential Plaza.
The main building is at the center of the complex. The outer parts of the complex include the MP hostel. An intricately designed lake surrounds the main building. The Bhaban consists of nine individual blocks: the eight peripheral blocks rise to a height of 110' while the central octagonal block rises to a height of 155'. All nine blocks include different groups of functional spaces and have different levels, inter-linked horizontally and vertically by corridors, lifts, stairs, light courts, and circular areas.
The most important part of the Main Plaza is the Parliament Chamber, which can house up to 354 members during sessions. There are also two podiums and two galleries for VIP visitors. The Chamber has a maximum height of 117' with a parabolic shell roof. The roof was designed with a clearance of a single story to let in daylight. Daylight, reflecting from the surrounding walls and octagonal drum, filters into the Parliament Chamber. The efficient and aesthetic use of light was a strong architectural capability of Louis Kahn.
The South Plaza faces the Manik Mia Avenue. It gradually rises to a 20' height and serves as a beautiful exterior as well as the main entrance (used by members during sessions) to the Parliament Building. The Presidential Plaza lies to the North and faces the Lake Road. It functions as an intimate plaza for the MPs and other dignitaries. It contains marble steps, a gallery and an open pavement.
An artificial lake surrounds three sides of the main building of Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban, extending to the Members of Parliament hostel complex. This skillful use of water to portray the riverine beauty of Bangladesh adds to the aesthetic value of the site. The assembly building received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1989. The total area is cover by open court yard, garden & nice lake. Visitors can enter this building on parliament session only by special permission. But Parliament premise is open for all if the session of the Parliament is off.
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