Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya, located in the historic precinct of Patan, adjoining the Patan Dhokah as been a beacon for archival endeavors in Nepali literature. It is a receptacle of literary and cultural treasures. It hosts the largest archives of Nepali literature in the country and has an active documentation of historic books and documents. The trust of MPP found ABARI,a design-build firm, in their quest for Nepali designers to re-build this monument of sorts, and in the effort be able to uphold their values of preserving the vernacular in the architectural language of the new building.
The Rana style building that was adversely affected post the 7.8magnitude earthquake in 2015 was built with Nepali burnt bricks and decorated with plaster of Paris trimmings. Its characteristic library look was emphasized with the minimalist grid windows that looked out into the manicured gardens. “When we set out to rebuild the historic building we had to pay homage to its previous incarnation, so we decided to build on the same foundation and reuse some of the historic bricks, with the historic Bikram Sambat dates still evidently etched on them!
The old surely set the foundation for the new in this case” shares Nripal Adhikary, founder and chief designer of ABARI, the architectural practice that’s responsible for designing and building this historic space. They have a reputation of building with natural, locally sourced materials rendering them in a modern perspective. “The theme of the building was to filter light into these archives and set a stage for visitors to admire the sheer numbers of books and artefacts they’ve conserved over the past decades. It was surely to be earthquake friendly and took a revolutionary new turn when we decided to have a separate structure to support the roof and have self-supporting light weight walls”, shares Kamal Maharjan, project architect and lead supervisor of the construction of this conservatoire.The design is inherently made of bamboo, the preferred choice of in house designers and engineers at ABARI based on their decade long research on this wonder grass.