The main objectives of this centre, located in a protected forest and nature reserve in Chittagong District in the south of Bangladesh, are nature education and interpretation tours, in an effort to create awareness and promote biodiversity, conservation and eco-tourism. Nishorgo means environment in Bengali, and the central concept driving the project is to cherish the sanctity of nature. The building itself is sensitively placed within the landscape: the reinforced concrete platforms of the ‘pavilion shelter’ float above the ground on structural walls; the concrete slabs are pierced by tree trunks where necessary, reflecting the project’s aim to create as little impact on the environment as possible. The visitor walks up the layers of platforms to a raised level to observe the surroundings. An exhibition area is enveloped in a compositional arrangement of openings framed by wooden lattices, and there is a space for viewing films with walls of exposed, burnt clay brick.
Nishorgo Oirabot Nature Interpretation Centre On-site Review Report, edited by Aga Khan Award for Architecture, 2010.
The On-site Review Report, formerly called the Technical Review, is a document prepared for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture by commissioned independent reviewers who report to the Master Jury about a specific shortlisted project. The reviewers are architectural professionals specialised in various disciplines, including housing, urban planning, landscape design, and restoration. Their task is to examine, on-site, the shortlisted projects to verify project data seek. The reviewers must consider a detailed set of criteria in their written reports, and must also respond to the specific concerns and questions prepared by the Master Jury for each project. This process is intensive and exhaustive making the Aga Khan Award process entirely unique.