Asaf Khan House


This page contains architectural drawings of the house in its surrounding context, the floor plans, use of spaces, section, elevation and other details. Also, there are some abstract visual representations of the stories of special features through collage drawing.

Present surroundings

In a sparsely populated Dhaka of the 1960s, this one storied residence in Dhanmondi was built to provide an enhanced quality of life to its inhabitants. Built as a bungalow-type house facing a green lawn and a spacious porch on the south, it was evidently designed to let the occupants connect the indoors with the outdoors, through the lawn, surrounding greenery and ambient environment. The house remains as a rare example of the bungalow type from the past while the surrounding landscape has transformed immensely due to the construction of multistoried apartments.

View of the house in surrounding context

Transformation of the surrounding

As with all houses, the Asaf Khan Residence has seen few transformations over the years. Such transformations tell stories of the occupants and how they inhabited the house. The 14 katha plot consists of a lawn, a residence, a garage building with servant’s quarters and a backyard with a machine room and water reservoir. The only major change made was the large garden was partially converted into a basketball court by the current owner, and a wooden lattice was added to the balcony. The lawn in front of the house was used for multiple purposes such as a playfield, a garden and even as a space to organize barbecue parties.

How the site was in 1970

Legend: A.Lawn, B.Residence, C.Garage + Staff Quarter, D.Staff Toilet, E.Water Reservoir, F.Machine Room

How the site is in 2022

Legend: A.Lawn, B.Residence, C.Garage + Staff Quarter, D.Staff Toilet, E.Water Reservoir, F.Machine Room, G.Basketball ground

How the ground floor was in 1970

Legend: 1.Entry Porch, 2.Living Area + Dining area, 3.Toilet, 4.Store Room, 5.Store Room, 6.Kitchen, 7.Toilet, 8.Bedroom, 9.Children play area, 10.Bedroom, 11.Toilet, 12.Toilet, 13.Bedroom, 14.Garage

How the ground floor is in 2022

Legend:1.Entry Porch, 2.(i) Office space, 2.(ii) Empty room, 3.Toilet, 4.Store Room, 5.Kitchen, 6.Dining area, 7.Toilet, 8.Storage, 9.Verandah, 10.Empty room with old furniture, 11.Toilet, 12.Toilet, 13.Empty room, 14.Garage

Use of spaces

The residential living zone and other outdoor spaces had been weaved altogether to provide a comfortable living experience to the residents. The spaces which were full of life at one time, are now empty rooms as no one lives in this house. Some of the rooms have old furniture, some are used as storage for keeping the belongings of the residents. The owner Asaf Khan, sometimes uses the living space for official meeting purposes, specially during the pandemic he had used this spacious room for important meetings.

Use of the ground floor in 1970

Legend: 1.Entry Porch, 2.Living Area, 3.Dining area, 4.Toilet, 5.Store Room, 6.Store Room, 7.Kitchen, 8.Toilet, 9.Bedroom, 10.Children play area, 11.Bedroom, 12.Toilet, 13.Toilet, 14.Bedroom
Use of the ground floor in 2022
Legend: 1.Entry Porch, 2.Office space, 3.Empty room, 4.Toilet, 5.Store Room, 6.Kitchen, 7.Dining area, 8.Toilet, 8.Bedroom, 9.Storage, 10.Empty room with old furniture, 12.Toilet, 13.Toilet, 14.Empty room

Views through the building

Views through the building are often shown as ‘section’ in architectural drawings. Typically, a 'section drawing', shows the view of a structure as though it had been sliced in half or cut along another imaginary plane. These drawings show the internal layout and express the interrelation between interior spaces and exterior.

Section through living space

Legend: 1.Lawn, 2.Paved path, 3.Entry porch, 4.Living area, 5.Store room, 6.Dining area, 7.Backyard, 8.Roof

Exterior views of the house

The elevation of the house expresses the proportion of modern houses with only one story structure and large windows on exterior walls. The simple outlook and convenient domestic spaces is a great representation of some of the exemplary works undertaken by architects of the postcolonial period of the 1950s and 60s.

View from west

View from south

Details of the house


The house has been built with simple materials like cement floor finish in most cases, but in some places, different color mosaic floors were used. Mosaic textures have been used in the walls and floor of the toilets.

Windows and openings

One of the unique features of the house is its interior doors with wooden casement windows. All the windows have a grill and net with its frame. The wooden curtain hanger is also unique of its time.

Window details

Architectural features

Architectural features

The various kinds of openings - windows, doors, perforations, ventilators - have been photographed to give an idea of the type of building technology and materials used in the particular period that a house was built in.

Special features

There are some special features in the house which reflect the unique characteristics of construction and lifestyle of the early times.

Artistic representation


The bedrooms were all interconnected as the practice of domestic living was more open unlike today. All the rooms had multiple doors and large openings through windows and ventilators.

Living room

Back in the day, the living room was the heart of the house as all family members used to assemble there  to spend quality time. The fully carpeted large living space acted as a play area for children, a room to watch TV, as well as the room where  guests were entertained. As the whole room had visual access to the lawn and it was connected through the spacious entry porch, it gave the sense of being connected to nature with ample natural light and air.


From the grandparents to the children, all residents of the house had been drawn towards the lush green lawn facing the house, as it had  played an important part for social gatherings. The front yard also accommodated a large cage where the owner kept pets like monkeys, deers, dogs or even birds. Originally, the lawn was extended to the north east part of the house and there was visual as well as physical access from the east side of the house. Due to the position of the lawn, it appeared like the house was encompassed by seamless greenery.

Exploring the house

A heritage building need not be a monument or landmark building; it can be representative of an epoch or period in the history of the city in many ways. Through this project, we have captured various perspectives in the form of virtual tours, timelines, stories, photographs, architectural features and locations.

Use the buttons belows to navigate to the details pages.


Virtual Tour









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The project “Hidden Heritage: Homes in Dhaka” forms part of a larger research framework on “Silent Heritage: Buildings in Bangladesh” focusing on homes and other significant buildings, from the rural to the urban, and from the Mughal to the Modern.

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Dhaka, Bangladesh