Aga Khan Academy Dhaka opens its doors
Aga Khan Academy Dhaka, a 1200-student residential school located on a 20-acre site in Bashundhara, Bangladesh, has welcomed 575 students through the doors of its state-of-the-art, award-winning campus for the first time.
The Academy, designed by FCBStudios, Shatotto Architects and landscape architecture practice Grant Associates, aims to develop future leaders and build the necessary skills and knowledge to support positive development in their societies.
Non-profit and non-denominational, Aga Khan Academy Dhaka is focused on recruiting exceptional young people from all backgrounds and providing them with the highest international standard of education. It is the fourth Aga Khan Schools (AKS) site to open as part of the Aga Khan Development Network. Currently, 50 percent of students across the Academies receive some level of financial aid through scholarship funding.
Environmentally-focused landscape architects Grant Associates designed the landscape for the sizeable, climate-responsive site, up to the schematic design stage.
Designed as a “social landscape”, the educational buildings are formed around a quadrangular ‘Maidan’ community gathering space and sports field, to deliver a welcoming environment for students of all faiths and backgrounds, with a design focus on sustainable urban drainage.
“We’ve been waiting for the Aga Khan Academy Dhaka to open, and we really wanted our daughter to go to a school that provides all the facilities from arts, to academics, to sports and everything else,” said Nehal Ahamad, a parent of a Grade 3 student. “We’re very excited to be here and to meet the parents, the staff and the teachers. It’s a wonderful campus – well done to the Aga Khan Academy Dhaka.”
"I’m excited to be here at the Aga Khan Academy Dhaka because we’re making history here – we have a wonderful campus that caters to our students’ needs and we have an incredible curriculum,” said English teacher Tahmina Begum. “I’m happy to be a part of this history here that is also allowing me to become a better teacher for my students through the professional development workshops the Academy will provide.”
Through the Aga Khan Academies there are 18 planned locations across Africa, the Middle East, Central and South Asia and Europe.
Images: Aga Khan Academy Dhaka, Schematic Design Stage, ⓒ Grant Associates