Image © Kurt Hoerbst

Anna Heringer believes architecture is a tool to improve lives.  With their strategy of using the local techniques, materials and sources and combining with the global know-how, Heringer’s studio showcases truly unique works. Anandaloy, is a community center made from mud and bamboo, located in Rudrapur. It is a center for people with disabilities, combined with a studio for the production of textiles. The project won the second OBEL AWARD, in 2020.

anandaloy_rudrapur-bangladesh-2020_studio-anna-heringer_by Stefano-Mori

Image © Stefano Mori

 In the beginning, the building was planned to be a therapy center only, but the Studio managed to expand the building programmes to accommodate Dipdii textiles, a studio for the female tailors in the village. Heringer initiated this part of the building to provide a space of work to the women in the village. This lets the people with disabilities at Anandaloy interact and engage with the community there. 


Images ©   Kurt Hoerbst

Mud construction throughout the years have been catching the eye of designers but less people consider it as the excellent material that it is, with its striking qualities over concrete. Heringer has used mud and bamboo in the construction of Anandaloy, combining the age-old beauty of earthen construction with that of the contemporary style.  With cob technique, that does not need any framework, curves are much easier to construct than walls. The project stands-out from the other buildings in the lush green paddy fields in Northern Bangladesh ,with the curves and the ramps.

anandaloy_rudrapur-bangladesh-2020_studio-anna-heringer_by Stefano-Mori

Image © Stefano Mori

Anandaloy does not follow a simple rectangular layout. Rather, the building is dancing, and dancing with it is the ramp that follows it around. That ramp is essential, because it is the symbol of inclusion. It is the only ramp in the area, and as the most predominant thing about the building, it triggers a lot of questions. In that way, the architecture itself raises awareness of the importance of including everyone. Diversity is something beautiful and something to celebrate,” Says Heringer.


For its construction, Heringer witnessed a very involved community, with the people of the village completely engaged in the process, finding their own solutions. Everyone in the village, young and old, healthy and with disabilities, men and women, everyone contributed to making Anandaloy. The center is more than just something of beauty and function, it’s a piece of architecture that elevates the lives of its users and the village.  Women in rural Bangladesh, often move to the city to live and work in factories under very stressful conditions. With Dipdii Textiles, the women in Rudrapur are given an opportunity to earn their living, working from their own village.


Image © Kurt Hoerbst

“I want to make decomposable buildings; I don’t want to leave waste behind. We can never foresee what the coming generations need — but what I really want to remain is the know-how,” she says.

Anandaloy is built as a project from earth that does not feel unnatural, but more like a part of where it stays. It is built to someday return to dust. 

Find out more about their works and vision.

Project Images
Project Videos