Bangladesh – Dhaka Glass Tower: a bright pathway to the sky

One of the few remaining green public spaces of the capital of Bangladesh, the Suhrawardy Udyan National Memorial, has been playing an important role within the life of Dhaka for many years. It was here that the Sheikh Mujibur Rahman gave his historic speech declaring war on Pakistan and the Pakistani forces surrendered to the people of Bengal fighting for their freedom in 1971. In order to consolidate the significance of the National Memorial as a symbol of liberty and independence, Dhaka authorities promoted in 1997 the construction of a multifunctional cultural centre within the Memorial area, the  Swadhinata Stambha complex. Completed in 2011, the first phase of this huge project  included the planning, engineering and construction of garden areas with lakes and fountains, an underground gallery, a war memorial museum, a research center, a 2,000-seat multi-media projection theatre, an amphitheatre and a glass tower. The construction of the glass tower had to be postponed to a second phase, which was finalized in December 2013.

Now, as night falls in Dhaka, powerful beams of light shine high in the sky as a reminder of Bangladesh’s hard-won independence. Designed by the winners of the national competition held by the Public Works Department in 1997, the architects Marina Tabassum and Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury of the company Urbana,  the Tower of Light, also known as the Glass Tower, is made of stacked glass sheets and has a base size of 16x16 ft (4.88x4.88 m) and a total height of over 150 feet (45.73 m).
The illumination of the Tower of Light has been orchestrated by Singapore-based lighting design studio LIGHT COLLAB. “Light is a mighty symbol of hope and selfless sacrifice of all those who fought for freedom. To enact the architects’ vision of a glowing tower, a special attention was given to evenly distribute the light on the tower surface in order to achieve a perfect grazing effect, obtaining at the same time a prismatic glow without highlighting the interior structure of the tower itself” states  Yah Li Toh, designer at LIGHT COLLAB. Moreover, the appointed lighting designers wanted to boost the extreme brilliance of the tower letting it reach for the sky through a skilled use of powerful beams of white light. Imported by the company ROOTS INTERNATIONAL, four units of GRIVEN searchlight KOLORJET 7000 WHITE, focused at 1° beam and located at each corner of the 150-foot high structure, have been employed to further enhance the Tower of Light, making it visible from afar owing to a well-defined pathway of light made up of four impressive beams which, pointing directly to the sky, are capable of dramatically prolonging the squared shape of the tower.

is an extremely powerful white light outdoor searchlight with an extraordinary light output for the most demanding applications in the architectural lighting field. The power of its Xenon 7000W lamp is enhanced by the performance of the nickel rhodium plated reflector making KOLORJET 7000 WHITE ideal for such applications as concert touring, skyscraper highlighting and movie sets, where the quality and power of a flicker free XENON lamp are required. An electronic zoom varies the beam size, yet another feature for a unit already packed with technology and with a wide range of capabilities. On-board control gives instant access to the zoom function.
Products specified:
4 x GR0397 KOLORJET 7000 WHITE
GRIVEN products imported by: ROOTS International

Project: Liberation War Museum and Independence Monument
Location: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Client: Ministry of Liberation war’s affairs, Government of Bangladesh
Execution: Public Works Department, Government of Bangladesh
Architects: Urbana - Marina Tabassum, Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury
Lighting Designer: Light Collab Singapore - Yah Li Toh, Li Qi Chua, Teruhiko Kubota
Contractor for Tower: NDE-NOVUM Consortium
Photos: Light Collab Singapore