An investigation on vernacular architecture of Marpha, Mustang, Nepal and understanding the influences and changes in architecture and its sustainability

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Dahal, Asmita

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Nepal, known as the country of Mountains, Gurkhas, and Lord Buddha is also a country rich in Art and Architecture. With the highest point 8848m (Mt. Everest) in the north to the lowest point 70m from sea level, Nepal has diverse climatic zones resulting in the opportunity for the different diversities of architecture throughout the country. In this thesis, the vernacular architecture and settlement pattern of Mustang district particularly Marpha and Jomsom are studied to understand its environmental adaptivity and sustainability from three different overlapping perspectives: Environment, Culture, and Modernism. The changes in architecture, culture, and settlement are an important part of any development. Being the intellectually aware and technologically forward generation of the 21st century, now we should be able to develop or change in the more sustainable way. This research tries to connect the gap between the vernacular architecture and settlement that had respect towards climate and culture to the contemporary development where that respect and awareness cannot be seen. Vernacular architecture is the result of hundreds of years of optimization to provide a comfortable shelter in a local climate using available materials and known construction technologies.1 In developing or least developed countries like Nepal, we can see how traditional buildings are being replaced by contemporary architecture. Due to the advancement of the technologies, the use of passive solar measures to achieve thermal comfort conditions can be seen disappearing in contemporary constructions. The purpose of this research is to understand the design strategies applied in vernacular architecture, changes that we can see in architecture and settlement now, analyze these studies and propose the set of design strategies that are best in today’s society with changing the culture, climate, and modernism


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