Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master in Interior Architecture [Adaptive Reuse]


Interior Architecture

First Advisor

Jonathan Bell

Second Advisor

Markus Berger

Third Advisor

Jeffrey Katz


Ruplal house, built during the rise and growth of the merchant class in Dhaka, is now neglected and decaying. How can this space be repurposed as an education center for refugee children, become a long term stratergy for basic education that provide relief,hope for the community of refugees and revive the dying heritage of Old Dhaka?

The Rohingya refugee crisis is said to be the world’s fastest growing human rights disaster. The Rohingya are an ethnic group consisting of a majority of a Muslim population who have lived in the Buddhist majority country of Myanmar. Due to ongoing violence the Rohingya have fled their homeland in search of safety, shelter and a better life. More than half of the displaced population consists of children. Children affected by conflict and disasters often get forced out of school and become homeless. This leaves them vulnerable to child labor, early marriage, exploitation and violence. The lack of education centers, pedagogical approaches for refugee children and teaching in the refugee camps could be partially solved by reusing abandoned houses and spaces in the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh. A grand nineteenth century mansion named Ruplal house, located in the old part of Dhaka serves as the host structure for my thesis investigation. My thesis inquiry explores how the Rupial house, which has lost its cultural and historical significance due to building deterioration which is located far from the actual refugee camps, could serve as a meaningful center for teaching and cultural integration with the existing local community. My design interventions in creating inside- outside approaches, with the help of movement and expansion in the physical barriers, will create a flexible environment that will give the users freedom to choose between an open environment and private spaces.



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