This mixed-use development is located in the he of Kathmandu. It is edged with two frontages, one facing Secretariat road and other overlooking a meandering street along an urban stream. Connecting the two frontages is a central retail arcade that zigzags through the site expanding retail frontages with numerous high-visibility corner shops. This retail spine organizes the site into two development blocks. The southern block comprises of three to four story, stepped back structures that allow winter sun into the shopping street. The resulting terraces become spill-out spaces for numerous dining venues. In contrast, the northern block is an eight story structure that on the upper floors become large office floor plates. The rooftop of the north block invites the public to a sky restaurant and health club opening to panoramic views of the surrounding hills and the city.
Given the height limit and loss of floor areas in creating the open air shopping arcade, the south block bulges out on the higher floors to regain the lost areas. The combination of ‘stepped back’ massing of the south block, and the ‘stepped out’ massing of the north block creates a dynamic public space both vertically and horizontally – visually analogous to a ‘ravine’. Furthermore, the zigzag alignment of this public space emulates the narrow alleyways found in local “Newari” towns which literally look ‘red’ due to extensive use of brick masonry.
The name Red Ravine grows from the design of the development that combines climate, regulations and economics to create a distinct architectural form with a central, dynamic public space as a wayfinding feature.