The Grand Architecture of Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban
Located in the city of Dhaka, the National Assembly Building of Bangladesh, Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban, stands out as an architectural masterpiece surrounded by water and beautifully landscaped gardens. Considered to be the largest legislative complex in the world, it is home to all of Bangladesh’s parliamentary activity. It is also a popular tourist attraction, which is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.
Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban, including the residences for the members of parliament and layout of the lawns and lake, was created by gifted American architect Louis I. Khan. Construction was started by the Government of Pakistan in 1961 and the building was earmarked for the federal legislature of East and West Pakistan. However, after its completion on 28 January 1982, Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban was used for the first time on 15th February 1982 as the venue for the eighth, and last, session of the second parliament of Bangladesh. Since then, this impressive complex has been used for the Bangladesh National Assembly.
The architect’s key design philosophy was to represent Bangladeshi culture and heritage, while at the same time optimizing the use of space. The exterior of the building is striking in its simplicity, with huge walls deeply recessed by porticoes and large openings of regular geometric shapes. The main building, which is at the center of the complex, is divided into three parts – the Main Plaza, South Plaza and Presidential Plaza. An artificial lake surrounds three sides of the main building of Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban, extending to the Members of Parliament hostel complex. This skillful use of water to portray the riverine beauty of Bangladesh adds to the aesthetic value of the site.
The Parliament Chamber, which can seat up to 354 members during parliamentary sessions, forms the key part of the Main Plaza. The Parliament Chamber has been designed to make optimal use of natural daylight, which is reflected from the surrounding walls and octagonal drum into the chamber. This natural light is complemented with an efficient, but subtle, use of artificial lighting. The Main Plaza also contains a library, Member of Parliament lounges and conference rooms.
The entrance to the Main Building and the Main Building itself is limited to authorized staff and Members of Parliament. The rest of the Jatiyo Sangshad Bhaban complex is open to visitors. To the north of the complex, visitors will find the beautiful Crescent Lake and Zia Uddan (Moonlight Park). This is a popular leisure area in Dhaka, with joggers and skaters enjoying the pathways through the gardens.
Visitors to the bustling capital city of Bangladesh should make a point of visiting Jatiyo Sangsad Bhaban, an architectural marvel set in tranquil surroundings.