The institutions are the houses of the inspirations: school, libraries, laboratories, gymnasia.The architect considers the inspi-ration before he can accept the dictates of a space desired. He asks himself what is the nature of one that distinguishes itself from another. When he senses the difference, he is in touch with its form. Form inspires design.
It occurred to me in thinking about the meaning of institutions that the prime institution stems from the inspiration to live which was remained meekly expressed in the institutions of man. It is an inspiration for building I hope to sense, the form of which could lead to new explosions of programs and design expressing the beauty of physical well-being. It would be a place of baths, exercise and meeting. It is the place where the athlete is honored and a man strives for physical perfection.
The idea of such an institution is inspired by the Roman bath.I have in mind an environment of spaces far reaching in richness and delight considering the resources of today.
The problem of an element in a corposition appears again in the making of the anti-glare porches for the hostels. In this element it is recognized that the light be on the inside of the porch as well as the outside. If you have light-not necessarily sunlight-on the interior. the contrast between the darkness of the solids and the brightness of the openings is not great and therefore, you do not feel the glare. The staggering of orches as the building rises offers the chance to get light into the porch, but a sliver of light is needed to give the presence of light to the interior. The sun is unwelcome. So far I have only half solved the problem. I am stating it, but I have not solved it. The varous explorations I have made of possible openings, some reminiscent of the past, are not really concrete forms although I think some of them are much more so than others.
In the assembly I have introduced a light-giving element to the interior of the plan. If you see a series of columns you can say that the choice of columns is a choice in light. The columns as solids frame the spaces of light. Now think of it just in reverse and think that the columns are hollow and much bigger and that their walls can themselves give light, then the voids are rooms, and the column is the maker of light and can take on complex shapes and be the supporter of spaces and give light to spaces. I am working to develop the element to such an extent that it becomes a poetic entity which has its own beauty outside of its place in the composition. In this way it becomes analogous to the solid column I mentioned above as a giver of light.
The nucleus of the very beginning was not a loss but new realizations came to it by reconsidering the spirit of monastery. It is for this reason my interest in this nucleus, in form realization, form meaning, the realization of inseparable parts of something. It is for this reason also that I came to realize that in doing the [Magistrate’s] Chamber of the capitol of Pakistan-I had to introduce a mosque in the entrance.
Since the first program was given to me, and since these remarks were first spoken, addenda have arrived which changed the proportions of the accomodations on either side of the lake. Study, given to the breeze and the sun has reoriented buildings on the lake causing new groupings though the direction of the original lines are retained. The esplanade has grown into an entrance garden reducing the lake. Many of the sketches are intended to answer the order of geometry which becomes a dimensioning system. The transformation from its rule to a freer play will be a constant course of study. Balance, not symmetry. (June, 1964)
The master plan is conceived as a clearly defined reservation within the city of Dacca, encompassing the Government buildings in a setting of gardens, waterways and fountains, interconnected with roads and walks. The basis of the plan is a major north-south axis. On one end of this axis is the Citadel of Assembly and on the other, the Citadel of Institutions, separated by an area of land designed as the Public Park. Other land areas are devoted to housing, gardens, and the social needs of men and their families. A portion of land will be reserved for higher residential buildings, including residences and offices for consulates. The physical conditions of this region, and particulary of this site, demand that a positive design attitude be developed toward the elements of sun, wind, weather, rain, and floods. Traditionally, areas are excavated for lakes and drainage, thereby obtaining fill to raise roads and buildings above flood levels.
What I’m trying to do is establish a belief out of a philosophy I can turn over to Pakistan, so that whatever they do is always answerable to it. I feel as though this plan which was made weeks after I saw the program, has strength. Does it have all the ingredients? If only one is lacking it will disintegrate…