Making Space:Sensing Place

In October 2009, along with artist Thurle Wright, I was awarded a Making Space:Sensing Place Fellowship; part of the HAT: Here and There International Exchange Programme, managed by A Fine Line:Cultural Practice. The Fellowship includes residencies with Britto Arts in Dhaka, Bangladesh, with Arts Reverie in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, with The V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, London and with The Harley Gallery, Nottinghamshire. Working and collaborating with artists and craftspeople from the UK, Bangladesh and India, responding to the collections and spaces we encounter and sharing these experiences through a touring exhibition and educational workshops.

This blog, which is still developing and being added to, is a record of my experiences during the MS:SP Fellowship. Steven Follen.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Parliment Building

I had tried several routes in an attempt to get a tour of the parliament building. Security has increased greatly and this is the nearest I could get.
Architects can sometimes arrange visits and tours for design and architecture students but the arrangement process is lengthy. I had approached one architect practice that I had read about who could arrange visits but sadly it didnt happen.
It wasn't possible to get close to the building and at one point I was stopped by soldiers from taking photos from the pavements alongside the roads which pass around the site.
The parliament or assembly building is called Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban and was designed by the architect Louis Khan, the building was completed after his death in 1981. It is a source of great pride for the Bangladeshi people. When I was awarded the fellowship one of my first thoughts was the possibility of seeing this building. He also designed buildings in Ahmedabad.
I had frist come across the work of Louis Khan at college and loved the geometry, visual clarity, layering, referencing and use of light in his work. The story of his work and life was covered in a film (2003) made by his son, Nathaniel Khan called My Architect : A Sons Journey.
Made from brick and concrete, the scale of the building and the site is monumental, modern and historic.