Empowering Bangladeshi women, “Green Field” factory inspires workers to feel at home
Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects

Empowering Bangladeshi women, “Green Field” factory inspires workers to feel at home

27 Jun 2024  •  News  •  By Gerard McGuickin

Dhaka-based Nakshabid Architects has designed the Green Field factory of Karupannya Rangpur Ltd in Alamnagar, Rangpur, Bangladesh. The factory’s environment is one that entices its workers to visit for recreation at the weekend. More than just a place of work, Nakshabid Architects sought to create a compound in which workers from surrounding communities enjoy a homely atmosphere — the integration of nature into the design helps make this possible.

photo_credit Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
photo_credit Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
photo_credit Nakshabid Architects
Nakshabid Architects

Established in 1991, Karupannya Rangpur Ltd is a Bangladeshi-based handmade rug manufacturer that seeks to provide sustainable employment opportunities and empower women in the Rangpur region (in north-western Bangladesh). The company follows a socio-environmental approach, using natural, eco-friendly materials and harnessing environmentally friendly practices.

Construction of the company’s Green Field factory commenced in 2013 — industrial operations began in early 2017 following completion of the first phase of construction. The Green Field factory’s entire layout had been built by 2019, after which its lush greenery was planted.

photo_credit Nakshabid Architects
Nakshabid Architects
photo_credit Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
photo_credit Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects

Bangladesh has a humid, warm climate: the country’s warmest months coincide with the rainy season (April to September); humidity remains especially high throughout the year and peaks in the monsoon season (June to October). Nakshabid Architects therefore adopted a climate responsive and sustainable design approach to the Green Field factory building. “Energy and water efficiency, optimal use of daylight, plantation, and ecosystem preservation are sustainable design elements that we have implemented,” explains the studio. The majority of the factory’s work is produced manually, ensuring less energy consumption. Renewable energy comes from a rice husk boiler and solar panels. 

photo_credit Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
photo_credit Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
photo_credit Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects

The factory’s north, south, and east facades have an open structure, facilitating air circulation and maintaining a favorable working climate. Utilizing a stack effect, four circular voids push hot air out and cooler air from a northerly breeze is drawn in, helping to maintain an interior temperature that is five degrees lower than outside. Air also flows through a central green area and over four large bodies of water at the southern front facade entrance of the building — air temperature is naturally reduced through evaporative cooling. In the monsoon season, these reservoirs are used for rainwater harvesting. Moreover, this season’s particularly humid air ensures the factory’s greenery flourishes — as the plants filter moisture, air on the inside is thus drier and more comfortable. Internal water pools, crossed via walkways, also cool the air. These lead to a full height, naturally top-lit seven-story atria.

photo_credit Nakshabid Architects
Nakshabid Architects
photo_credit Nakshabid Architects
Nakshabid Architects
photo_credit Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
photo_credit Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
photo_credit Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects

Soft daylight penetrates indoor spaces through the layers of plants and atria. “Vertical gardens are strategically created to reduce solar heat gain and help improve air quality,” says Nakshabid Architects. “Plants were chosen according to the monsoon climate, supporting the ecosystem.”

The Green Field factory is designed to work in harmony with the surrounding ecosystem. The design also emphasizes a traditional rural archetype, incorporating courtyards, gardens, and ponds, imbuing the factory with a pleasing, lived-in character.

photo_credit Nakshabid Architects
Nakshabid Architects
photo_credit Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
photo_credit Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
photo_credit Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects

The factory building is a rectangular block: Exterior facades are constructed using cast concrete, finished in lush greenery. Interior walls are made with locally produced exposed brick and concrete. Miniature female clay sculptures decorate many walls and stairs — 80 percent of the factory’s 5,000 employees are women.

Factory workers can avail of a number of areas in which to rest and have meals: a “Nandini Park” on the rooftop of the daycare facility, a front garden, linear park, lily pond, and podium at the front of the factory. The garden includes a large sculpture called “Bonolota”, created to represent the visual strength of female empowerment.

photo_credit Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
photo_credit Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
photo_credit Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects

Nakshabid Architects describes the Green Field factory of Karupannya Rangpur Ltd as a “polyphonic and carnivalesque piece of architecture since the design integrates both living and non-living earthly components.”

The factory is a LEED-certified green building, achieving a Platinum certification for operations and maintenance.

photo_credit Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects

 

 

The Green Field factory of Karupannya Rangpur Ltd by Nakshabid Architects was part of the “RIBA International Awards for Excellence 2024”. RIBA comments: “This exceptional project has been conceived to inspire the workers to feel at home, to stimulate their senses in terms of sight, sound, and comfort.  Workers choose to visit out of hours, seeing it as a desirable and welcoming place to be, to spend their own time with friends and family.”

photo_credit Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects
Courtesy of Nakshabid Architects

Site area: 14,170 square meters (152,525 square feet)

Factory building: seven-story structure with a total footprint of 3,820 square meters (41,118 square feet)