ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PARLIAMENTS OF THE WORLD
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 10:02:54 AM
Construction of the Jatiya Shangshad Bhaban began in 1961 by the Government of Pakistan as a permanent building for the federal legislature of both West and East Pakistan. However, it was the eighth (and last) session of the second parliament of Bangladesh that first used it on 15 February 1982 after its construction was completed on 28 January of the same year. The Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban has been in operation and has acted as the sole complex used as the National Assembly ever since.
Jatiya Shangshad was designed by Louis Kahn. First, Muzharul Islam was given to design Jatiya Shangshad Bhaban by the government. But, Islam brought his teacher Louis Kahn into the project to do a signifant work for future generation. But, Muzharul Islam assisted Kahn at the project.
Beginning of construction: 1961
Cost of construction and design: Tk. 129 crore or 1.29 billion (=1,290,000,000)
Inauguration: 28 January 1982
Architect: Louis I. Kahn
Total area: 200 acres (800,000 m²) 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 entire structure is designed to blend into one single, non-differentiable unit, that appears from the exterior to be a single story. 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 artificial lighting system has been carefully devised to provide zero obstruction to the entry of daylight. A composite chandelier is suspended from parabolic shell roof. This chandelier in turn consists of a metallic web, spanning the entire chamber, that supports the individual light fixtures.
Upper levels of the block (that contains the Chamber) contain the visitor and press galleries, as well as communication booths, all of which overlook the Parliament Chamber. The block also contains:
at level one, a library;
at level three, MPs’ lounges; and
at the upper level, party rooms. Although entrance to the Bhaban, the Main Building, is limited to authorized members of Parliament and staff, the Jatiyo Sangshad complex is open to visitors. On the North of complex, across the Lake Road, is Crescent Lake and Zia Uddan (also called Chondrima Uddan). The two complexes together form a major attraction for tourists in Dhaka. The complexes are popular among joggers and skaters of Dhaka. The official Prime Minister's Residence is on the North West corner of the Mirpur Road and Lake Road crossing and is a five minute walk from the Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban. The area is one of the higher security zones of Dhaka.
The Complex can be accessed using any of the four roads surrounding it, however, the Manik Mia Avenue and Lake Road are the easiest approaches.