Documentation of Early Modern Architecture in Kathmandu

- Biresh Shah, Jharna Joshi, Rahul Muni Bajracharya

Discussion Type: Research Seminar Series | Date: 26 Nov 2023 | Time: 03:00 PM


26 November 2023/१० मंसिर २०८० (आइतबार, दिउँसो ३ बजे)
Research Seminar Series
Documentation of Early Modern Architecture in Kathmandu
Biresh Shah; Jharna Joshi; and Rahul Muni Bajracharya; Architects

About the Speakers:

Biresh Shah has practiced and taught architecture, urban design and planning, as well as urban conservation in Kathmandu, Nepal for over twenty five Years. He taught at the Institute of Engineering, Tribhuwan University, Kathmandu from 1996 to 2008. He taught in the very first Bachelor of Architecture program, which started in Nepal in 1994. He also has taught in the Master of Science in Urban Planning program that started subsequently. He has taught design studios as a visiting faculty at SPA, New Delhi, and University of Melbourne; and more recently in the Master of Urban Design and conservation Program at Khwopa Engineering College in Bhaktapur, Nepal, teaching core urban design studios and thesis research. He has written and published in newspapers, design magazines, academic publications as well contributed to books on many aspects of the built environment of the Kathmandu Valley; and has lectured widely. He has been keenly interested in the contemporary urbanism in South Asia.

He graduated from the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) in New Delhi, India where he completed his Bachelor of Architecture in 1984. Subsequently he completed his Master of Science in Architectural studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, USA.

He founded ARCHIPLAN in 2001, a design practice based in Kathmandu, and undertook the design of architectural projects of all scale ranging from houses to urban housing, hotels, mixed-use development projects, Institutional buildings, Medical colleges and other educational campuses. Alongside, he has also worked on a variety of urban design, urban planning and urban heritage conservation projects, mainly in Kathmandu Valley and also in New Delhi. Since 2011, Biresh has also worked as a Principal Architect on the planning and design of new South Asian University Campus in New Delhi. This project was awarded through an international competition. Subsequently, the detailed design of all buildings consisting of academic blocks, Library, Convention center, student housing, staff residences, support facilities, site services, and overall landscape Plan of this 100 acre campus was developed upto contract award stage with our partners in New Delhi, ABRD architects. While the construction of the entire campus is yet to be completed, the University is operational for a limited capacity,

More recently he has worked as a design/planning consultant for a number of large academic/public projects ranging from the Sajha South Asia Center, a conference/civic center in Kathmandu, to large projects with complex programs for various public institutions. Since 2018, he is involved with the development of the proposed University of Nepal, a new liberal arts public university being set up in Nepal, and has advised on programming and planning/design of their forthcoming Campus in Gaindakot, Central Nepal.

He is the founding member and current President of Kathmandu Institute, a non-profit organization founded in 2022 to conduct research, documentation, discussions/seminars, exhibitions into the Transformation of the unique built landscapes of Nepal. Currently KI is developing an exhibition on Early Modern Architecture of Kathmandu Valley (1945-85).

Jharna Joshi has more than twenty years of experience in architecture, conservation, tourism and teaching in Nepal, China, Hong Kong, USA, Vietnam, Greece, Pakistan and New Zealand. She has worked as a heritage and infrastructure specialist with national and international agencies as well as educational institutions. Her notable project includes the Bandipur Eco Cultural Tourism Project that developed Bandipur, a hilltop town in Nepal as a new tourism destination by promoting and preserving the local culture and heritage engaging the local stakeholders and international partner cities. Currently, she is involved in designing and restoring traditional buildings as well as teaching at architectural institutions and consulting in various projects.

Jharna obtained her PhD from the Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) in 2019. Her dissertation is titled, Landscape aesthetics, tourism, and change: Case studies in Nepal. Previously, Jharna obtained her masters in historic preservation from the University of Pennsylvania (USA) and in the management of cultural landscapes from Jean Monnet University (France) after a bachelor’s in architecture from Tsinghua University (China). Her passion lies in studying and preserving landscapes that include the built and the natural environments with the people and their culture at its centre.

Rahul Muni Bajrachrya completed his Bachelor in Architecture from IoE, Pulchowk Campus in 2005. Subsequently, he competed his Master of Urban Design from University of Hong Kong in 2012 as an ADB scholar.

Besides Kathmandu, he has worked in Darjeeling and Sikkim as an associate architect for Planners' Alliance for Himalayan and Allied Region(PAHAR) from 2006-2008.  Bajracharya was part of the design team of Archiplan Nepal and ABRD New Delhi which had won First  Prize in International Design Competition for Master Planning and Urban Design of SAARC University in South Delhi, India in 2010. The University is a residential facility envisaging 12 faculties, hostel and housing facilities for 500 students and 500 teachers.

Since 2013 he has undertaken a wide range of architecture and urban design projects in Nepal, notably; Chhaya Centre, a mixed-use commercial development, Soaltee Westend Premier Hotel, Nepalgunj. He has also worked as Senior Urban Designer for Preparation of Master Plan of Lumbini Province Capital City in Rapti Valley, Lumbini Province, Nepal.

Presently, Bajracharya is Principal Architect at Architecture Atelier Pvt. Ltd., an architectural and urban design consultancy firm based in Kathmandu.

- Biresh Shah, Jharna Joshi, Rahul Muni Bajracharya

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