The Ripa Siddhi Monastery had approached us early 2015 to visualize the extension of their holy premises. This included various buildings and creating some connecting infrastructure,but we mutually chose to design the recreational space in the retreat home,where spiritual practitioners visiting the Rinpoche,or attending a program hosted by the monastery stay.
The existing two storey retreat centre is a traditional looking brick building and we wanted to match it's scale to have a dialogue with the context.So,we came to visualize this multipurpose centre as a majestic bamboo building.
The minimal and open floor planning allowed for making use of the ground floor space as a restaurant or a cafe for the visitors or residents and the upper floor as a Yoga space or a space to host meetings and discussions.
We were keen on creating a naturally well lit and ventilated space,and creating ease of access and exit at multiple points for the ground storey cafe.Additionally another design concern was to capture the panoramic views of the peaceful pine covered hills,which we achieved by having large glazed windows and doors.
After consulting our in house engineer and doing some research on locally available clays,which we later used in plastering and paint work,we set out to build the first two storey bamboo building we'd ever built!
We were thrilled to design a technically challenging two storey, one of a kind bamboo structure in Nepal for the first time,but were more enthused by the encouragement we received for both the proposal and belief in the material of choice : bamboo and earth! Another feature we set out to incorporate was the stable and aesthetically pleasing sloped wall system - not only does it look good,it is a stabler load path for the heavy clay tiled roof to the ground.
We also designed and executed the beautiful interiors in pastel shades of brown,keeping the theme of the golden bamboo and local yellow clay,with a custom bamboo staircase leading to the upper floor.Their ceilings are also designed with woven or flattened bamboo,showcasing the versatility and aesthetic beauty of our beloved bamboo!
This project was an insight into how two storey bamboo buildings can be designed and detailed and we haven't looked back since!