IE Architecture + Design Prize

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4APP - 1091
Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology / bd Bangladesh
1 members
Amit Imtiaz

Project type:

Imagine that in the near future there was no source of power. No fossil fuels or gas to produce electricity. Our planet’s resources are decreasing rapidly. How will we continue our journey with the available resources. What if we could integrate numerous functions into a centralized infrastructure? What if architectural solutions could eliminate barriers? In response to the power crisis and water crisis in the south-east of Bangladesh, we need to find alternative ways to produce renewable energy. A number of feasibility studies carried out in the 1980s and in 2014 examined the potential to set up small hydro-power stations of 10 kW to 30MW in capacity. What if these hydrological structures were integrated into society and nature? What if they were inhabitable and acted like one small village, one breathing hydrological infrastructure? My proposal is for a prototypical hydrological infrastructure that generates power and connects with society. A dam that holds society. Current dam models create problems such as dislocation, segregation and imposition on the context, service specialization and ownership, and singularity of aesthetics and function. In contrast, my proposal for a Breathing Dam offers a new typology of hydrological infrastructure. It differs from the image of hydrological infrastructures and, instead, favours a model which is not only connected with but also integrated into society. It creates an arcology which may help alter the public perception of essential infrastructures and reduce many of the negative consequences associated with infrastructure management. Moreover, it eliminates the threat of flash floods and water crises in the hill areas. This dam will enable people to improve agriculture and water management. And the power will help them to make a self-sufficient village. With the integration of ecology, society and infrastructure, the Breathing Dam will become a prototype for a modern ‘hydraulic empire’.

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