ABARI rebuilds major archival building in nepal using bamboo and rammed earth

ABARI rebuilds major archival building in nepal using bamboo and rammed earth

ABARI — a design and build architecture firm that specializes in bamboo construction — has rebuilt a significant structure in nepal, which was damaged by the country’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 2015. the building, titled ‘madan puraskar pustakalaya’, is located in the historic precinct of patan and contains numerous literary and cultural resources. in fact, the building hosts the largest archive of nepali literature in the country and contains a wide range of historic books and documents.

all images by ashesh rajbansh



ABARI, led by founder and chief designer nripal adhikary, was commissioned to rebuild the facility in a style that would fit with the region’s vernacular architecture. the architects decided to utilize the site’s foundations, which had survived the earthquake, while reusing some of the former building’s historic bricks. ‘the old surely set the foundation for the new in this case,’ nripal adhikary says.

a bamboo staircase leads to a mezzanine level



the primary design objective was to filter light into the space to create a welcoming and comfortable environment for visitors. however, perhaps more importantly, it was essential that the building be earthquake resistant. this led the architects to use materials they were already very familiar with — bamboo and rammed earth. ‘we have been able to identify a few districts in nepal ideal for growing and producing bamboo suitable for construction, and, over the past five years, have been working with farmers’ cooperatives to build a network of bamboo producers, eventually buying back from them,’ nripal continues.

guests can view the impressive bamboo ceiling overhead



ABARI chose to use rammed earth for the building’s walls, a material with a high thermal mass that slowly releases heat over time. this results in cool interiors in summer and warmer conditions in winter. visitors enter the lower level via a reception area, with private offices found beyond. measuring 900 square feet (84 sqm), the archive occupies the majority of the ground floor. a bamboo staircase leads to a mezzanine level, where visitors are invited to sit and study the documents. from here, guests can see the archive below and the impressive bamboo ceiling overhead.

the scheme filters daylight into the space

the brief was to create a welcoming and comfortable environment

the building hosts the largest archive of nepali literature in the country

detail of the bamboo construction

the structure contains numerous literary and cultural resources

the archives are located in the historic precinct of patan

the building replaces a structure that was damaged by nepal’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake in 2015



  • Technically very interesting building using indigenous materials … I’d like to know more about the structural bamboo connectors … handsome simple building

    Leonardo Sideri says:
  • nice

    Ed Jeffrey says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
501,538 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample