Himalayan Cities

In this theme we try and understood how the nature, perception, and use of open spaces in and around particular building/s is very much the result of the architectural typology of the particular building. For example, a courtyard based building has a certain character of open spaces, which will be very different from the one that is linear or a building that is extremely transparent/opaque. The aim was to represent this conditions in various part of the city of Patan in a creative fashion

The premise here is that water structures in Kathmandu valley have performed many other public functions apart from being a source of water. For example, they activate existing public squares, they create a sheltered cocoon environment for community gathering, they are excellent for women as social spaces, they have a larger ecological function, they maintain ecological health and are thriving spaces for flora and fauna.

Open spaces in Kathmandu valley show immense variation and contrast in a very small area. One observes that the spaces of a certain typology move or change into another, in a very smooth or articulate fashion. This transition gives a level of richness to the experience of the city, which defines the character of the Kathmandu valley.
The objective here is to represent the fluidic nature of these transition spaces and how they mutate to form a variety of open spaces.

Social spaces, as described in “Production of space” by Henry Lefebvre, assumes that we make a space by our social actions in the public sphere. This also holds true for spaces of Kathmandu valley because of a variety of urban performances that happen throughout the day. For example, religious processions, protests, music, dance , theater etc

ABSTRACT:

Himalayan Cities: Settlement Patterns, Public Places and Architecture explores the idea of settlements in different areas of the Himalayan region, cutting across national boundaries, from Kashmir via Nepal to the north-eastern parts of the Indian subcontinent, and their relationship with the landscape. By comparing these, the book makes the case for peculiarities of the Himalayan city and succeeds in deducing key principles and general models, typical of the settlement patterns, nature of public places and architecture shaped by this unique mountainous environment. The relationship between natural systems and human ingenuity as projected through its built traditions forms the underlying theme of the book. Lavishly illustrated with stunning photographs and detailed hand drawings by the author and his students, Himalayan Cities not only engages the academia but also the general reader and helps provoke a discourse on this intriguing landscape and its architectural nuances.

EXCERPT:

DAY 2 : URBAN NATURE OF WATER STRUCTURES

DAY 3: TRANSIENT OPEN SPACES : STREETS AND NODES

DAY 4 : PERFORMATIVE URBAN SPACES

DAY 5 : PRESENTATION AND REVIEW OF THE WORK

Testimonials

“This workshop was one of a kind. Not only was I able to experience the city as a tourist but also as a local and learn about the various insights of the city which otherwise I wouldn’t have known.  I’m glad I was able to attend the workshop and gain some knowledge about public spaces by actually being there and not through some bookish knowledge. I hope such workshops are conducted more so that i can attend and learn.”

— AISWARYA MURALI, MNIT JAIPUR

Settlement Patterns, Public Places and Architecture

Published Book

The book is a result of documentation and research on the city and architecture of Himalayas. It explores the idea of settlements in the Himalayas and their relationship with their landscape. The underlying theme of the book is the relationship between natural systems and human ingenuity as projected through its built traditions. The book is illustrated by hand drawings by the author and his students covering examples of different parts of Himalayas such as Ladakh, Himachal, Gharwhal, Kumaon, Kathmandu, Dhulikhel, Mustang, Manang and Bhutan.

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