Register: MAY/06/2018, Submit: MAY/09/2018, Eligibility: Architecture students, young architects less than 3 years after graduation; individually, multidisciplinary teams (architects, engineers, landscapers), Fee: 60 EUR (JAN/02 – MAR/11/2018), 80 EUR (MAR/12 – APR/14/2018), 100 EUR (APR/15 – MAY/06/2018), Awards: 1st Place 1,500 EUR, 2nd Place 1,000 EUR, 3rd Place 500 EUR, 10 Honorable Mentions
Located between China and India, Nepal is all along the Himalayas. These high mountains offer a range of beautiful landscapes with the eight highest summits of the world. Nepal gets an important profit from the hiking tourism, which represents at least 10% of the GDP of the country. Although well exploited by the country, its environment is a difficult aspect for its development with a complex topography and a rough climate. Seasons rhythm the country’s activities with dry winter and summer marked by important monsoons.
The diversity of its ethnic groups, its castes, and its languages contribute to the richness of the culture of this country. Cults and religions take an important part of the Nepalese daily life; Hinduism, practiced by the majority of the population, has been coexisting with Buddhism for centuries. Architecture, culture and religion are tightly connected in Nepal, where the most beautiful wood or rock sculptures mainly stand in temples and monasteries. Nowadays cities and villages still come alive at the rhythm of religious festivities.
With 29 million inhabitants, more than 85% of the population live in rural area. Nepal is divided in 75 districts, then in «VDCs» (Village Development Committee) who correspond to municipalities. Villages’ structure can differ from one place to another. Some are composed by groups of houses, with a dense typology. Other are more scattered, with houses separated from each other. Time perception is felt differently: it is common to have to walk for a few hours to walk across a village. These villages are sometimes badly connected or even not connected at all to the main cities, which is why education has been hard to access for a long time. Nowadays an important improvement is visible, with 84% of alphabetization in the young population.
Nepal has been benefiting of its geographic situation between its bordering countries for a long time, being a natural stop for merchants and travellers. Today, it is left behind as compared to its neighbours. There are many challenges to development: drinkable water, electricity support, communication infrastructure, wastewater management, infrastructure for transportation, etc. However, these last years, some aspects of the development have been considerably improved. Electricity support became constant in the major part of the country and communication infrastructure have improved even in really retreated villages.
During the last ten years, Nepal has got through economic and political crisis, but its biggest challenge is to recover from the terrible earthquake that has devastated part of the country on 25 April and 12 May 2015. In the area around Kathmandu, earthquakes have destroyed a huge amount of constructions and caused more than 9000 deaths.
In the aftermath of this disaster, international assistance has worked together to rebuild the country. The outcome was positive but not to the scale of the real needs. Two years after, the mains NGOs are leaving to other assignments, but the damage is still present.
The site chosen for the competition is located in the VDC (Village Development Committee) of Pharping, approximately a two hour drive (20 km) from Kathmandu. Pharping is composed of two different urban arrangements: a main group of houses surrounded by more sparse areas. The competition site is in the sparse area. This region is famous for its Buddhist monasteries, with one of the biggest located in Dakshinkali, just next to Pharping.
The site is located towards the end of a valley with a stunning views on the landscape. It is a typical site of the Nepalese topography: a plot of land with terraces, clinging onto the moutain slope, overlooking the valley. This year, Rock’n Wood is building an orphanage on this site. They will provide a similar site within one of the four areas around Kathmandu to build the winning project. To allow for optimal time management, the competition is set with no real site upfront, so that local authorities (community or association) save the 5 to 6 months it takes to design the project. This will expedite paperwork and then, construction.
The building shall be around 170 m2 and should contain:
- community room for the village (60 m2 minimum)
- an atelier (artisanal, education, production, etc)
- a kitchen (common to the village, for families who don’t have their own)
- media/cultural (place to access knowledge)
- sanitary (toilet and shower)
The building shall be fit for its various uses through architectural smart arrangements. Special attention will be given to aspects such as external area, water supply, waste treatment, energy supply and local resources.
The written curriculum is an indication to guide students. It is not mandatory to precisely follow the indications.
- Rock’n Wood will select one of the three winning projetcs for the construction.
- For each team registration, ARCHsharing will give 10€ to Rook’n Wood for the construction of the community center.