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2020 - Ongoing
Project Type: Residential | Geography: Nepal

This residence sits on a flat, irregular shaped land bordered by neighboring houses in Biratnagar, located in the Terai region of Nepal. The warm weather of the region and urban location has shaped this house to have minimal fenestrations along the perimeter both to minimize solar exposure and to maintain privacy. Some areas on the ground floor have large openings but they are shielded by tall and landscaped boundary walls.

This two and a half story residence is organized around a landscaped courtyard. The courtyard is the central space and a source of light, ventilation, and views for the house. Thus, the walls around the courtyard are fully glazed. Being a small open space, palms trees have been introduced in the courtyard to maximize daylight and shading at the same time.  

The common interior spaces such as living and family rooms have tall volumes, conducive for indoor gathering in a warm climate. The combination of these tall and regular height rooms create an interesting roof form with cascading gardens connecting the rooftop with the ground floor. To protect the interior spaces from the harsh summer sun, the height of the house is tallest on the southwest corner. The roof gradually descends to a one story volume at the northeast corner to allow for the prevailing summer breeze.

The top level of the building is dedicated as a vegetable garden while others function as passive outdoor spaces favorable for evening gatherings and relaxation. These green roofs are also an essential part of stormwater management and insulation strategies. The indigenous plants that are also insect repellent [such as lemongrass, mint, citronella and basil] animate the outdoor environment with lush green vegetation in a rapidly urbanizing neighborhood.

Site Area: 7,967 SF
Plinth Area: 2,996 SF
Landscape Area: 2,713 SF
Courtyard:  363 SF
Super Built-up: 8,975 SF

Design Director: Kiran Mathema
Project Team: Ajaya Mathema, Dipesh Shrestha, Parmila Maharjan, Bipin Niraula, Anu Maharjan, Aastha Shrestha, Sareena Manandhar, Angela Subedi, Saroj Bhattarai, Prakash Ghimire