School in the sky!
Architecture + Design|August - September 2020
Project: Shree Janasewa Primary School, Nepal Architects: Sustainable Mountain Architecture, Nepal
Prof. Anne Feenstra, Sapana Shakya, Rabita Shakya, Aman Raj Khatakho and Ashwini Kumar

Post-earthquake Nepal sees an innovatively designed school, carefully crafted in its context...

Post-earthquake Makaldamar: Situated at 620m altitude in Makaldamar, Makwanpur district, sitting on a tiny triangular piece of land, the primary school had collapsed beyond repair in the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquakes. Most of the family houses in nearby villages, like Silinge, got ruined. The reason was simple; the semi-nomadic Chepang community in Silinge, had only settled down half a century ago. They had not yet developed vast experience in vernacular construction techniques like the Newar, Gurung or Tamang communities.

The design team had surveyed the site of the collapsed two classroom building. The new school would need four classrooms and better facilities for the teachers. The architects were keen to design a school which would promote playfulness and stimulate learning, but the land was diminutive. With this larger programme and a tight budget, one of the major concerns was with two sides of the land sloping steep down and the third side sloping up; where on earth could the children run and play?

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