Just one of the many tragedies involved in the devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday – which as of this morning is known to have claimed the lives of over 3,500 people - is its effect on the historic architecture of the region. Home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the affected regions of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, news outlets from the BBC to The Washington Post are reporting extensive damage to some of the country’s most significant monuments.
In this article, which originally appeared on Australian Design Review as “Reframing Concrete in Nepal,“ Aleksandr Bierig describes how New York-based MOS Architects, a firm better known for its experimental work, is designing an orphanage for a small community in Nepal.
Strangely enough it has become almost unremarkable that an office such as New York-based MOS Architects would find itself designing an orphanage for a small community in Nepal. Now under construction in Jorpati, eight kilometres north-east of the capital, Kathmandu, is the Lali Gurans Orphanage and Learning Centre, which finds itself at the intersection of any number of tangential trends: the rise of international aid and non-governmental organisations, the seeming annihilation of space by global communications networks and the latent desire of architects to use their designs to effect appreciable social change. Emphasizing simple construction techniques and sustainable design features, the building hopes to serve as a model for the surrounding communities, as an educational and environmental hub, the provider of social services for Nepalese women and as a home for some 50 children.
MOS Architects, founded in 2003 by US architects Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample, is not a practice known for its involvement in humanitarian projects. Its work is often experimental and, at times, willfully strange. Alongside its architecture, MOS makes films, teaches studios, designs furniture and gives lectures on its work. It was after one lecture in Denver, Colorado in 2009 that Christopher Gish approached Meredith and Sample to ask if they would be interested in designing an orphanage.
Architects / Team Leaders: Travis L. Price III, FAIA, Principal, Travis Price Architects; Founder, Spirit of Place-Spirit of Design, Inc., Adjunct Professor, The Catholic University of America- School of Architecture and Planning / Kathleen L. Lane, Assoc. AIA, Director, Spirit of Place Institute; and Lecturer, The Catholic University of America- School of Architecture and Planning
Location: Namje-Thumki, Nepal
Students from The Catholic University of America: Kayode Akinsinde, Andrew Baldwin, Miguel Castro, Liz-Marie Fibleuil Gonzalez, Scott Gillespie, Carrie Kramer, Gina Longo, Patrick Manning, Ashley Marshall, Kristyn McKenzie, Andrew Metzler, Ashley Prince, Chloe Rice, Abigail Rolando, Arvi Sardadi, Mandira Sareen, Lucia Serra, Allie Steimel, Kevin Thomson, Spencer Udelson, Lauren Warner, Evan Wivell
Students from The Corcoran College of Art & Design: Suzanne Humphries
Students from Aalto University: Wilhelmiina Kosonen, Inka Saini
Project year: 2011
Photographs: Travis Price Architects, Price III, FAIA
The foundation of the Nepal Pavilion was completed this week. With the theme “Tales of Kathmandu City,” the pavilion will capture important historic moments of the city. The pavilion will put on display the luster of Katmandu, the capital city of Nepal and an architectural, artistic and cultural center that has developed over 2,000 years.
The theme touches upon the soul of a city by exploring its past and future. Another highlight of the pavilion will be Nepal’s efforts in environmental protection and developing renewable energies. The pavilion is in the form of an ancient Buddhist temple in Kathmandu, surrounded by traditional Nepalese houses.
A car or motorcycle rally will run from Lumbini to the Expo site. The rally will bring the “eternal flame of peace” to Shanghai from Nepal. More images after the break.
This is funny: While browsing architecture offices websites in look for new works to publish in ArchDaily for our beloved readers, I found this project. I bookmarked it to contact the architects the next day, and when I woke up I had an email from Kristin Jarmund Architects offering us this project for publishing.
Well, enough of this, lets go to the project description.