Celebrating Over 25 Years, Mukta Dinwiddie MacLaren (MDM) Architects Builds Sustainable Structures for the Future

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Marked as one of the leading design and construction firms in Bangladesh, Mukta Dinwiddie MacLaren (MDM) Architects started its operation in 1995. The firm was first established in London in 1982 offering a wide range of architectural and engineering services. Hitting its 29-year mark in the business, the architecture firm’s value is embedded in having ethical, sustainable design, and sensitivity to its surroundings.

Over the years Bangladesh has had severe natural calamities, leaving towns and cities destroyed resulting in the loss of the people’s livelihood and home. “We established MDM Architects in Bangladesh to contribute our professional experience to give back to the community, help poor families rebuild their homes, and make it sustainable for their families,” Co-founder of MDM Architects, Ahmed Mukta said.

Through the years of the firm’s operation, they have established partnerships and connections with governments, embassies, multiple business partners, sponsors, and investors in building multipurpose buildings, low-cost housing, refugee settlement buildings, blood bank buildings, and creating a sustainable drinking water source in the country.

One of MDM Architects’s hugely successful projects is the Majher Chor (Village Transformation Project) in partnership with the British Business Group organization, wherein they’ve built 164 houses for each family on the island, a sustainable source of drinking water through rain harvesting systems and installed solar panels for an eco-friendly power source.

With the partnership of the International Federation of the Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), they have continued their project of building low-cost core residential shelters for other parts of Bangladesh that cyclone Sidr hit. MDM Architects created 1,250 houses across the Sidr-affected areas in four districts in southern Bangladesh and organized them into 12 clusters.

One of the ground-breaking projects the MDM Architects firm handled was the Bhasan Char (The Beacon of Hope) project, the largest refugee settlement in the world. The project was in partnership and sponsored by the Bangladesh government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. It was created to provide safe and transient accommodation for more than 100,000 Forcibly Displaced Myanmar Nationals (FDMNs). The settlement was built with a thousand cluster houses with individual rainwater harvesting systems and powered predominantly by its individual solar PV systems from the 1 MW solar plant.

As MDM Architects makes its mark in the industry, they have also built buildings and infrastructures outside of Bangladesh. In partnership with the United States government through the US Military, they built the first Blood Bank in Nepal. The architecture firm finished the project in 2014 and used to store 75% of the blood supply for the Kathmandu Valley. The blood bank building was able to withstand the 7.8 Magnitude earthquake that struck the city of Kathmandu in 2015.

MDM Architects has built a strong partnership with the US Military and has executed multiple humanitarian projects since 2007. Given the history of severe natural calamities that hit Bangladesh, they started a project on building Multi-Purpose Cyclone Shelters (MPCS) across the country. MPCS building was used as a school during weekdays, a mother and child clinic on the weekends, and a shelter for natural calamity emergencies. Every multiple humanitarian project built by MDM Architects is values-centric to the three pillars of sustainability which are economic prosperity, environmental protection, and social justice.

The firm’s efforts in transforming lives were recognized globally; they won the Global Architecture and Design Awards in 2023. They now plan to open new branches in Saudi Arabia and UAE. “Even though great developments are going on in these places, there’s still a need for intervention in terms of sustainable infrastructure,” Mukta said.

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