To prosper, every nation needs an institution which can represent their cultural heritage and can transfer the glories of their cultural richness to the new generation as well as to the whole world. The Language Movement of Bangladesh in 1952 is an unprecedented event. No other nation fought and martyred for establishing their mother tongue as their national language.The project aims to restore the cultural and historical richness of Bengali nation in urban scale and preserve the historical site of the area which contains some glorious memories of our Language Movement. To pass the history to new generation and to establish our cultural richness, a Language Movement Museum are proposed to be designed in the Shaheed Minar Complex in Dhaka.
Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. To speak in mother tongue is a primary right for every citizen of an independent nation. And Bangla is the mother language of Bengali people which is the 5th most spoken language in the world. From the very early times people of foreign cultures ruled over this part of the world and tried to strip the people of this region off their mother language by imposing their own language and culture. So for a very long time people of Bangladesh had to struggle for their right to speak their mother language. The most grave event act was the event of the 21st February in 1952, when students came out to the street for the right of mother language and were martyred by the ruling government of Pakistan. The Shaheed Minar (Language Martyr Monument) embodies the memories of a glorious and courageous event, that asserted the primary right of speaking in one’s native tongue. It provides a place to remember and mourn the martyrs who sacrificed their lives on 21st February, 1952, and it personifies the honor and love of millions of people. Other than the monument there is not really anything else to remembering the event of 21st february. That’s why a language movement museum is proposed on the site in front of the monument this is to remind the people of the blood shed on that very fateful day. the project aims to preserve the history of the Language Movement respecting the historical site. It is not only designing a museum but also connecting the places where the agitation was conceived, matured and culminated. The architecture of the museum intends to resonate the struggle and leave a message for the future generation, but then again at the same time the historical significance of the site and Shaheed Minar can not be underwhelmed by the boldness of the newly designed museum. Also a large amount of gathering occurs on that vicinity during Pravat ferry and multiple occasions throughout the year, & all these activities demand a space of their own. So the space has been provided over the museum- while the museum itself sank underground, providing an undisturbed landscape for the monument.
Form & space: the form is robust, rigid and brutal which is an allegory to the harshness faced and the resistance that reject oppression. Pure shapes represents purity of intention and the manifestation of space are inspired from the Shaheed Miner first built. Built with tears, sweat and perseverance. Modulation of spaces vary from tight corridors to overwhelming lighted chambers, which represent the modulating struggle though out time. Material: using red brick in plaza is a continuation of shaheed miner plaza & brick is our local material-which offer every kind people to walk more comfortably. in interior space pigmented red concrete used in the whole building – as a part of shaheed miner also create an illusion in interior space. Red here is not only used as a material or color but also as an emotion.an emotion that is very cold, rooted in the DNA for this vary nation. Red represents hope , sacrifice, diligence, sorrow and joy. Gallery – The gallery part are divided with two part- -historical walk thought -language movement. Historical walk thought- history of Bengal,pala empire,sena dynestry, colonial & muslim sultanate. Language movement- chronology of language movement, hall of remembrance,court of inspiration & path of hope. In gallery I try to look for presence of time, then there arises for serenity and silence and opportunity for sharing extreme weight and silence-the silence of light- silence of spaces. the permanent gallery placed at underground, the journey started by a narrow stairway with the presence of sun light. The visitor enters the museum lobby & mystical volume of space ,garnered columns of light intends a surprise. Then it walks into the gallery where the visitors feel lost of spaces where narrow pathway offer you to walk into the volumes which absorbs the visitor, where time is lost. where we question existence of place, time, and values. Where we evaluate past and grateful for what we have and contemplation on the events of the movements that preceded are enhanced. Hall of remembrance: As one enters the gallery, it gives an essence of entering a sculpture that submerges us and enables us to understand the space, provokes our perception of lighting, shades and time. This perception helps us to interpret what was before and what is beyond. we enter in the cylindrical volume we are bathed in light from above that penetrates through a small opening, creating an overwhelming essence. Path of hope: It’s a ramp which guides the visitors into the exit. Curiosity draws to walk and reach the top. A journey that offer a movement to pause and ponder to wish to redeem.