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Bhaisainpati, Nepal

1997 – 1998 - Completed
Project Type: Residential | Geography: Nepal

Poised on a plateau located in the southern area of the Valley, the site is spectacular – commanding dramatic long views of the city and the Himalayan range beyond.

Organized on two levels, the building is simple rectangular-shaped in both plan and section. The plan is bisected on the short cross-axis by a circulation core, which separates the bedrooms from the communal spaces on both the levels. Ancillary functions are confined to the northern edge of the plan, while the grander communal spaces, main bedrooms and study are placed on the southern side.

The consolidation of communal spaces into an open-floor plan allows efficient air circulation and heat transfers. The central skylight and clear-story window provide adequate day-lighting and winter sunlight for the north-facing rooms. The glass railings further dramatize the overall space by both establishing the visual connections to the upper-level and reflecting the outside, within inside.

Approached from the landward side, the house is discreet and humble. The house changes its character as it faces the southern and eastern exposures. Glazed on three sides, with doors and windows that dematerialize the boundary between house and stepped garden, the outdoors becomes a natural and fluid extension of the interior.

Closed to the north, the house opens up dramatically to the south, taking advantage of the light and breathtaking views. The soaring double-height volume of the living area, designed as the winter solarium, opens to the panoramic vistas that are also enjoyed from dining, study and family rooms. From here, almost every building component becomes visible – the concrete-frame structural system, spatial organization of communal and private spaces, circulation sequence, play of transparency and opacity conforming to the climatic orientations, day and night lighting strategies, and the ventilation techniques.

The landscape features are equally important in creating the sustainable-environment. While densely planted deciduous trees provide shade during the summer, the rain water is harvested in a reflecting pool that is tucked in front of the main living room.