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2009 Awards Entries for Culture Heritage Conservation



Matan Chhen, Panauti

Matan Chhen, meaning both ‘first floor house’ and ‘bright house’ in the Newari language, is located in Panauti, a city 35km from Kathmandu and well known for its cultural traditions and ancient monuments.  It was originally two houses built in the 1930s in the Rana style, a period originating from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries when Neoclassical and Victorian architectural styles were introduced into Nepal and combined with elements of Mughal and medieval architecture. Originally owned by businessmen, the two original houses became dilapidated after a period of demographic change, during which businesses moved out of the old part of Panauti. The project involved restoration of the houses and reuse as four residential dwellings, combining extensive reuse of the original materials, including interior decorations using traditional local materials, with  sensitive introduction of modern living facilities to allow for ongoing and economically sustainable use.

Thamel House Restaurant, Kathmandu 

The Thamel House in the Kathmandu Valley is typical of the traditional architecture of the Malla Period (thirteenth - eighteenth century). It was built in the late 1800s as a residence and has remained in the same family ever since. Having remained in continuous occupation since its construction, the brick and carved wood structure was in remarkably good condition when the owners decided to convert it into a restaurant serving traditional Nepali cuisine. The main alterations included the enlargement of windows to provide better interior lighting.