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^Visualisation of the Thame Valley school
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TEN THAME VALLEY REDEVELOPMENT

DESIGN RESEARCH AND IMPLEMENTATION FOR POST EARTHQUAKE CONSTRUCTION AND RURAL CAPACITY BUILDING IN A REMOTE HIMALAYAN VALLEY.
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INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT
FIELD VISIT
RESEARCH AGENDA
DESIGN STRATEGY
PROJECTS: THAME SCHOOL   MONKS DORMITORY   MOUNTAIN CENTRE
THE TEAM
SUPPORT
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On April 25, 2015, the Thame Valley was afflicted by a series of earthquakes that have decimated the built environment and placed the livelihood systems of local residents under extreme duress.

The earthquake of magnitude 7.8, hit Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and China with the epicenter recorded some 77 kilometers northwest of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.

Due to the scale of the destruction and the remoteness of the valley, there is an immediate need for reconstruction and the implementation of a development strategy derived from local knowledge and resources.

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PROJECT LEAD

Thame Sherpa Heritage Fund (TSHF)
NGO, Nepal
www.thamesherpafund.org

TEN
NGO, Zurich
www.ten.as



RESEARCH GUIDANCE

UTT
Chair of Architecture and Urban Design Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich www.u-tt.arch.ethz.ch

IBK
Chair of Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Studies, ETH Zurich
www.ibk.ethz.ch

Prof. Marc Veletzos
Structural Engineer
Merrimack College, USA.

Jitendra Bothara
Structural Engineer
Miyamoto International




DOWNLOAD
transpicTHAME SCHOOL FUNDING (3MB)
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INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT
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^ Context illustration showing the first three (public) buildings to be constructed
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The Thame Valley Redevelopment is an interdisciplinary development project taken up by design research group TEN (Zurich), Thame Sherpa Heritage Fund (Nepal & US) and the local Sherpa community leadership. It is supported by research guidance from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH, Zurich).

Four main research components make up the focus of the project1: A redevelopment and construction methodology based on design research, participatory planning, appropriate materials research, and the development of earthquake resilient construction systems.

1 Furthermore, the research and implementation is shaped by the following goals:
— To implement a redevelopment strategy to encompass the entire valley through participatory planning workshops with focus on defining collective goals and benchmarks for immediate impact and long-term development.
— Combine local know-how with international expertise to develop novel, contextually appropriate building techniques and methods for sustainable construction practices.
— Develop and assess materials that would help improve the seismic performance of un-reinforced stone masonry and reduce dependence on prevailing labor intensive and external forms of construction.
— Focus on establishing an enhanced and robust construction knowledge, documentation and teaching tools for the region that is accessible to all.
— To showcase design innovations in key community buildings in the valley. Starting with the reconstruction of the Thame Primary School, the Monks Dormitory and the Khumbu Mountain Centre.


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Urban Think Tank (U-TT)
Chair of Architecture and Urban Design, NSL, ETH Zurich
Chair Head: Prof. Alfredo Brillembourg and Prof. Hubert Klumpner

The Urban Think Tank, provides a unique platform of research and design experimentation from which to investigate global urban challenges through the dual lens of informality and urbanism.


Chair of Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering (IBK)
Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Studies, ETH Zurich
Chair Head: Prof. Bozidar Stojadinovic

Control and reduction of the seismic risk for our homes, cities and countries is key to making our lives better and safer, and our future more sustainable.


Chair of Sustainable Construction (IBI)
The Department of Construction and Infrastructure Management, ETH Zurich
Chair Head: Prof. Guillaume Habert.

The Chair of Sustainable Construction at ETH Zurich aims to ground sustainability in all disciplines involved in the built environment.
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RESEARCH AGENDA
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^ The lattice construction system
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To develop contextually appropriate construction techniques through design research that aim to improve the seismic performance of reconstructed buildings.

To develop a structural system that responds to the ban on sourcing local construction grade timber due to recent World Heritage Site listing (1979)2 and continue the dialogue with the regions architectural heritage.

To investigate ways to extend the impact of the intervention throughout the valley though replicability, scalability and dissemination.

2 Since the reserve status (firstly as the Sagarmatha National Park in 1971), buildings have still been erected using traditional stone construction techniques, but without the vital structural support afforded by large single beams for tensile strength. Such construction practice offers no support in the event of earthquakes. This was witnessed through the destruction of some 80% of the regions building stock in the 2015. The research is therefore aimed at countering the typical construction failures displayed by the buildings in the valley:
1. Gable Failure
2. Long Wall Failure
3. Wall De-lamination
4. Wooden Splice Failure
5. Masonry Separation (at the windows and doors).


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FIELD VISIT
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^ Siesmic workshop, Thame 2015
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The project commenced with a three week field visit in 2015 to analyse the extent of the earthquake damage and investigate site conditions, material resources, livelihood systems, community capacities and commitment.

A series of community workshops, practical demonstrations and training sessions were run together with TSHF and Prof. Marc Veletzos in order to depart fundamental principles of earthquake behavior and illustrate simple methods for safer construction.

The sessions helped identify relevant community projects that were destroyed during the earthquake and deemed vital for the redevelopment of the valley. They also helped identify the existing knowledge base from which to develop a contextualized construction strategy.


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DESIGN STRATEGY
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^ Detail drawing Thame Valley School
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By reimagining the use of common building materials and systems, the design team have developed a novel structural lattice system3 to counter the five earthquake induced structural failures.

By developing a precise, yet flexible spatial module4 that is derived from local typology research, the design can be applied to a range of reconstruction scales throughout the valley.

By initiating the redevelopment with a focus on key public buildings, the program aims to maximize the exposure of the structural system and offer access to public demonstrations of safe construction.

3 The system is based on a latticework of timber batons that penetrate the stone wall at a grid of 105cm x 60cm. These are secured by an exterior diagonal bracing grid of galvanized wire and reciprocated on the interior by vertical timber members and timber boarding. The layered system counters the effects of wall de-lamination in the event of an earthquake. The vertical elements further connect to the timber roof system via an edge band (timber truss) and roof ties that counter wind uplift.

4 The module system is designed with consideration for proportions, stiffness, placement of openings and partitions, length-width ratio and a scale derived from regional domestic architecture. It is designed for stability over two floors as a standalone unit and can be either joined directly with similar units or by intermediate, light-weight structure between two units.


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LIVE PROTOTYPING
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^ Scale mock-up of the construction system, Delhi 2016
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A scale prototype of the structural system was built in Dehli in late 2016 to offer live feedback on the performance of materials and construction procedures.

Working with live prototypes helps the design team uncover missing infomation in the doucmentation and allows adjustments to be made according to workability.


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THAME SCHOOL
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^ Interior visualistion of the Thame School
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Before the earthquake, the school5 provided the only means of primary education for 42 students from the Thame Valley. The complex consisted of five detached stone masonry buildings adjoined by a leveled play-field. Due to poor sub-soil and construction quality, the buildings were completely demolished or damaged beyond repair.

The vision for the new school is to provide students and teachers with a safe and engaging environment for learning while offering additional facilities for communal and external use.

The redesign offers the opportunity to build spatial qualities that respond to the contemporary program of the school including; adding a central kitchen for hot meals and to improve student dietary habits, adding a dormitory to cater for students who would otherwise leave the valley for boarding schools.

5 - Six classrooms with intermediate spaces for informal use and future expansion are connected to the staff room/office by a sheltered movement corridor.
- The hall is designed to provide students with an indoor gathering space for events, afternoon meals, assembly and community gatherings. It is strategically located as a threshold between the courtyard and the play-field creating a multi layered system of indoor and outdoor collective spaces.
- A student dormitory for students from nearby villages is added to the school programme to reverse the trend of student migration to boarding schools outside Thame valley (Namche or Kathmandu). The dormitory can also double as a lodge during the summer school vacation, and thus provide a source of income generation for the school committee.
- A kitchen is added to support the dormitory and also to create an opportunity to improve the dietary habits of students and provide them with hot meals at school.
- The teachers quarter is designed to host 4 teachers in two rooms and an attached lounge + toilet.


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MONKS DORMITORY
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^ Visualisation of the Monks Dormitory
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The 300 year old Thame Monastery is one of the most important cultural institutions in the region. The earthquake inflicted critical damage to several of its structures.

The Monks Dormitory was unanimously selected by the monastery committee and the Sherpa community of Thame Valley as a redevelopment priority due to its integral role in the daily workings of the Monastery.

The structure is to be rebuilt on the existing dormitory footprint, and include 10 private quarters for sleeping and praying. The redevelopment encloses the former external corridor into the building volume and adds room entrance sequences and a shared washroom.


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TSHF

VANESSA FOLKERTS
TREASURER

TEN

SCOTT LLOYD
DIRECTOR

VARUN KAUSHIK
PROJECT MANAGER / PROJECT ARCHITECT

OGNJEN KRAŠNA
PROJECT ARCHITECT

MILOŠ PAUNOVIĆ
PROJECT ARCHITECT

NEMANJA ZIMONJIĆ
PROJECT ARCHITECT

AGATA MAJCHERSKA
PROJECT ARCHITECT / COMMUNICATIONS

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THE TEAM
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^ Project organogram

In June 2015 a working collaboration was established between Thame Sherpa Heritage Fund (TSHF) an NGO that focuses on community development in the Thame Valley, ETHZ a leading research platform structural and material research, and TEN Zurich to formulate a re-development strategy based on a design research program and on-site implementation.

The team has since designed, documented and submitted designs for three key public buildings and is planning to be on-site in may 2017 to supervise the construction of the monks dormitory.



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CONTACT
TEN
KANZLEISTRASSE 80
ZURICH 8004
nepal@ten.as
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SUPPORT
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transpic transpic < Processing stones for masonry is an extremely labor intensive task


We are seeking like-minded partners to support the project in its quest to combine local know-how with international expertise to develop novel, contextually appropriate building techniques and methods for sustainable construction.

The approach will offer immediate impact towards establishing a renewed construction knowledge base in Thame Valley and provide a lasting framework for a redevelopment determined by its unique cultural legacy.

We look forward to discussing support opportunities with you and warmly welcome questions and feedback.

nepal@ten.as


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