Koli and I sped down the road on his motorcycle in a torrential downpour. He had left our motorcycle helmets at the project site, so I held my hand over his eyes like a visor to block out as much of the monsoon rains as I could so that he could see well enough to keep us on the road. The van, holding three of my interns, two large blocks of ice, all of the cooking utensils from my kitchen, two gas stoves, and several pounds of food followed us. We got to the edge of town and saw that the road was completely blocked for repairs. While the motorcycle might have been able to squeak around the barricade, the van would never make it; fortunately Koli knew an alternate route out of the city. We were already an hour late: the van was delayed, our landlord had padlocked us in the building (it took us 20 minutes to find him and have him come open the door), and we had to stop at the bazaar to get ice. Read the rest of this entry »
No construction project every progresses according to plan; Bangladesh is no exception. Workers show up hours late, materials arrive of the wrong specifications, and the weather doesn’t always cooperate. As the architecture intern for Panigram, Chi Chi knows first hand the difficulties that arise during construction projects in Bangladesh.
Rising every morning at six A.M., Chi Chi faced the challenge of working with unfamiliar building materials, supervising her first construction project, and leading a construction team as a female in a male-dominated culture. Last night, I had the opportunity to sit down with Chi Chi and discuss the details of her pavilion project. We talked about her design, her team, and how she managed to overcome the many difficulties that arose while building the pavilion.
BRIAN: This is your first project, Chi Chi. Can you describe the challenges that you faced as a young architect working with an international crew?
Here are some photos of the gorgeous place where we will be building Panigram. The resort is set at the intersection of a navigable river and a smaller canal. There are many native trees (mango, date palm, papaya, mahogany, bamboo, etc.) already on the site which we will preserve during construction.
Standing on the Property Looking at the River During the Dry Season