Aga Khan Academy
In Brief

The Aga Khan Academies

Dhaka, Bangladesh


This 1200-student residential school is located on a 20-acre site near the centre of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The school is part of a network of state of the art K12 schools, being established by His Highness the Aga Khan.

Through the Aga Khan Academies there are 18 planned locations across Africa, the Middle East, Central and South Asia and Europe.

The Aga Khan Academies aim to support long-term national and regional development by providing an international standard of education and strong leadership experience to talented students. The students are selected based on merit, regardless of socioeconomic background, and will become future home-grown leaders. The Academies also strengthen national education systems by providing professional development and modelling best practices as centres of excellence.

The Academy is arranged around a central ‘Maidan’ community gathering space and sports field, linked by a continuous colonnade, and interspersed by landscape courtyards of varying character. The classical Masterplan layout is derived from our studies of the original Buddhist universities of the region.

The result is an architectural language which showcases intricate brickwork techniques set against ‘jali’ screen detailing as a contemporary interpretation of an important local tradition. The project incorporates the overarching Aga Khan Academies brief whilst integrating historic Bangladeshi customs in spatial arrangements.

This project is a collaboration between FCBStudios and Rafiq Azam of Shatotto in Dhaka.

Video Cover Image

Take a close-up look at the new Aga Khan Academy and proposed landscaping.

Watch video

The building pays homage to locally manufactured brickwork and traditional skills.

A language of brick patterning and artistry has been developed here by learning from local precedents and expertise. This knowledge is then being passed on in an on site programme to train the next generation of brickworkers.

Brickwork details at Aga Khan Academy Dhaka
Climate Responsive Design

All circulation is open air but sheltered from sun and rain: all rooms have cross ventilation. 

The buildings are designed to breathe through traditional 'jali' screens and windows: the architecture facilitates air movement.  High-level vents supplement low wind speeds with ceiling fans adding to adaptive thermal comfort.

This is a climate responsive architecture informed by traditional buildings and contemporary low energy design and technology.

FCBStudios_Shatotto_AgaKhan Jali screen

2017 World Architecture Festival, Education - Future Projects Award

Brick detail of Aga Khan Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh

The brief for the Aga Khan Academies aligns closely with UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

Explore more Schools projects:
Explore more International projects: