Architectural, Urban and Landscape Heritage of Lo Manthang and Upper Mustang : Conciliating Architectural Tradition and Modernity

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LANCRET N.,  séminaire « Architectural, Urban and Landscape Heritage of Lo Manthang and Upper Mustang : Conciliating Architectural Tradition and Modernity », organisé par l’UMR AUSser, l’ENSA Paris-Belleville avec Oriental Cultural Heritage Sites Protection Alliance (OCHRA), Katmandu, 10 au 14 novembre 2014.

Alliance supported the workshop “Architectural, Urban and Landscape Heritage of Lo Manthang and Upper Mustang: Conciliating Architectural Tradition and Modernity” from 9th to 15th November 2014 in Inn Heritage Hotel in Patan in Kathmandu in Nepal. The workshop was organized by Ecole nationale supérieure d'architecture de Paris-Belleville (ENSA PB, France) and Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust (KVPT).

This workshop led by OCHSPA Nepal Project Team Leader Ms. Marielle Richon, in Kathmandu to raise the awareness of Loba youth. A group of 20 students participated, with 6 Loba young people (among whom 2 young lamas from Choede and Namgyal monasteries) and students from Lumbini Buddhist University, Tribhuvan University and Khwopa Engineering College. Their respective disciplines were architecture, engineering, history of art, social sciences and tourism.

A brainstorming session clarified the Loba youth’s priorities. Four teams were set up, each led by a Loba young person on the following four themes:

1. Modernization and transformation of built heritage;

2. Inventory and documentation of tangible and intangible heritage;

3. Tourism: home-stay accommodation in local houses;

4. Creation of a parking lot outside of the fortified city of Lo Manthang.

Also, cases studies visits were organized in Patan, Kathmandu in order to understand how it is possible to conciliate conservation and modernity, use traditional materials and be sustainable in times of climate change. A series of private traditional homes and houses some of which were transformed into guesthouses with the financial support of Japanese funds granted through UNESCO Kathmandu. Students were invited to share information with the owners about practical details of these initiatives (timeframe, return on investment, feasibility, etc.) The four teams of students elaborated four micro-projects to be implemented in Lo Manthang on the four above-mentioned themes.

Nepalese Department of Archaeology (DoA) and Alliance were decided to organize a 10-day mission supported by OCHSPA in late Spring-Summer 2015. Participants in this mission will be 8-10 students of the two project teams from the November 2014 workshop. They will be accompanied and supported technically by experts selected by OCHSPA. This mission will support DoA in finalizing a first inventory and creating a database which could be further updated by young Loba students in the future.