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Khudi Bari.

Khudi Bari – meaning ‘Tiny House’ – is a modular monsoon shelter that’s been designed by the Bangladeshi-based Marina Tabassum Architects (MTA) for inhabitants of the country’s Ganges river delta. AKT II has helped to enable the shelter’s demonstration as part of the prestigious 2022 Summer Exhibition at London’s Royal Academy of Arts (RA).

A modular monsoon shelter for inhabitants of Bangladesh’s Ganges river delta.

London, United Kingdom
Royal Academy of Arts
Marina Tabassum Architects
completed 2022

The shelter is designed for a region where entire swathes of land can flood in just a few hours. It can be hand-assembled using local materials – it’s principally made from the region’s bamboo – with a cost of just £300.

AKT II’s team has been engaged to provide structural and computational expertise as part of a broader ongoing research collaboration with MTA. We’ve supported the architect in modifying the pavilion’s structural supports to enable its construction using the relatively thin bamboo that’s available here in the UK. We’ve also tested the lightweight connections, and are implementing the findings through our ongoing work with MTA’s team.

For the RA summer show, our work on the project has centred on the bespoke, fabricated structural nodes that connect the ‘legs’ into the elevated volume above. We went through several iterations that variously explored plywood, timber, steel and aluminium, to come up with the best balance of materiality, geometry and performance.

As part of this process, our team also produced several prototypes, using 3D printing as well as traditional paper and card, to understand the proposed form. The modified nodes have ultimately been realised in recycled aluminium, as a lightweight and strong material that’s also readily available.

“The star of the show.”

Oliver Wainwright, architecture critic (The Guardian)

Khudi Bari – The Story Within.

Watch the project team explain the thinking and the engineering behind this low-cost shelter in our short documentary.

Watch the film.
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