Modern vernacular architecture of new annex building of ICIMOD in Nepal

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Contemporary vernacular architecture Brief & References: The aim is to design a new separate (extension) building at 15000 sq.mtr sites of ICIMOD located in Kathmandu, Nepal. For reference, the site has an existing main building of ICIMOD (designed by Western Architect Tom Crees). The main building has a traditional Nepali vernacular Architectural influence along with local vernacular architecture elements from eight regions of the Hind-Kush Himalayan range.

Modern vernacular architecture examples

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Design Approach and materials used vernacular architecture:

The new annex building so proposed is a free standing building made out of local vernacular material. Although, the design approach towards the importance of vernacular architecture and planning is contemporary and modern. But at the same time, traditional design elements and detailing is used.  So the annex building is not entirely alien to Nepalese local vernacular architecture.

The entrance foyer of the building is brilliant double and triple height. Which are gives a welcome feel to the visitors by its sheer volume. The double and triple height spaces interlock and penetrate at various levels. And connect all spaces to the main atrium. The aim is to give a feel of the public working building where open culture and the transparent working environment is propagated to serve the local community.

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The modern vernacular architecture of the building is designed to three levels and a basement for parking. The design also considers any the flexibility of any additional future requirement. The single level basement parking has been provided for visitors and staff, however, the intention is to keep the complex pedestrian and minimize vehicular moments at the site.

The building sits on the southeast side of the plot; height and scale of the building are intentionally smaller than the existing building.  All the levels to the atrium are connected by a large central staircase. The stairs are one of the main vernacular architecture characteristics of the building which tries to interconnect the building in best possible way and gives a feeling of openness at the triple height atrium. The scale of staircase gives space for interaction while movement within the building.

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Fact file of contemporary vernacular architecture:

  • Design Team:    Sunil Yadav –  ARB (UK) – MSc Advanced Architecture, BSc (Hons) Architecture,   PG Dip International Planning & Sustainable Development. Anil Yadav –   COA (INDIA)  – B.Arch.
  • Design Firm: Horizon Design Studio Pvt Ltd
  • Location: ICIMOD in Kathmandu, Nepal

Perspectives in vernacular architecture:

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Check out the difference between vernacular and traditional architecture:

This types of vernacular architecture of the modern building are traditional in appearance (Externally) but the design is minimalist and contemporary for the efficient functioning of the space and the purpose for what it is designed for. Hope, you are enjoying this design proposal in the category of modern vernacular architecture in Nepal. Stay tuned for more updates time to time.