The BERC Headquarters in Dhaka is an office building located in the centre of the Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area, along a canal, running in the east west direction, connecting it to Louis Kahn’s National Parliament House. A range of programmatic functions mix with the office space, they include reception halls, a library, a small courthouse, a gallery and cafes.
The design of the BERC building is a singular response to local and regional site conditions. It strives to weave influences and overlapping programs, mitigating extreme climate conditions as it crafts pleasant and sustainable environment. The particular expression of the building is reflective of the local context and builds upon an established modern architectural heritage of public buildings in Dhaka.
The shape of the plot dictated a rectangular footprint that resulted in an expansive west elevation along the canal. To mitigate the massive heat gain, a strategy combining shades, vegetation, passive-air circulation and water harvesting was employed. Precast concrete planters shaped as inverted arches collect water and allow for lush greenery to thrive. Thin vertical members provide a sun screen as well as backing for climbing vegetation. The inverted arches are modulated in sizes and positioned rhythmically to echo the flow of water in the canal. Simultaneously, they hint at elements in the near-by National Parliament House.
A gap between the planters and the envelope allows air circulation between the lush green layer and the envelope, moving cooler, clean air up the facade and into the building, turning the entire west elevation into a giant filter for air and light.
Inside, the inverted arches of the planters form an undulating ceiling over public spaces. Occasionally, interconnected floors are created at both the south and the north ends of the building, creating public rooms of distinct formal qualities in the sky.
Location Dhaka, Bangladesh. Administrative area of Sher-e-Bangla Nagar. Plot # F-4-C, Sher- E- Bangla Nagar, Dhaka. (Agargaon Administrative Area)
Program Head Office for the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) Office space and supporting functions such as multi-purpose halls, cafes, lounges, library and prayer space.
Size 5,720 m2
Architect Design Lead: Hout Architecture, Samer Hout. Local Architect: Exception, Alter Ul Azim.
Client Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC)