Architecture, Rural

Architecture, Rural has its distinct characteristics as regards planning, use of materials and locations. Like urban architecture, rural architecture is also subject to change, but in Bangladesh rural architecture has clung to tradition. It has not really changed at all until recently. For centuries, rural architecture has been using locally available materials. It is only from the late nineteenth century that rural architecture began to change both structurally and in the use of housing materials.

Indigenous architecture in rural Bangladesh was largely built without formally trained professionals. Buildings were built by local construction workers, typically consisting of mistris (carpenters, roof builders), rajmistris (masons) and kamlas (helpers), together with household or community members. Construction skills were learnt through experience. Inter-generational transmission and design decisions were communicated verbally. Despite not being the designed product of a professional architect, such buildings continued to accommodate and serve the needs of the great majority of the population. In that sense, and being such a significant part of the built environment, such buildings represented a fundamental form of architecture that had evolved according to context-specific characteristics and resources.

There is an overall hierarchical pattern within rural settlements in Bangladesh. It begins with a gram (village) usually established on raised land, composed of a number of padas (settlements or neighborhoods). Each pada consists of a number of badis (homesteads), which in turn are comprised of several ghats (dwelling units of individual households within an extended family) and ancillary buildings.   Settlement on raised mound in deltaic floodplains
   Settlement’ Most rural settlements in Bangladesh can be characterized as ‘natural’, in contrast to ‘planned’ settlements; they have developed without any formal professional planning input. This implies that in most cases settlements have evolved here largely according to possibilities offered and constraints imposed by regional topography, climate, natural features, and availability of local resources. This predominantly deltaic land has changed in shape and character over time. Because of increased human impact and intervention on the environment, settlement patterns are also subject to change. Nonetheless, there is continuity and some typical characteristics have evolved in response to local natural characteristics. Broadly classified, there are two main types of settlement: amorphous and elongated-linear. The amorphous type, consisting of clustered or scattered settlements on high land, is often dispersed throughout the terrain.


Rural Farmhouse

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