A new way to tackle water-related issues and create places of gathering in Nepal

Project Title: Pilgrimage of Everyday Life

Location: Pharping, Nepal

Author: Chia-Wei Chang, Mu-Hwai Liou and Tzu-Jung Huang

“At dawn, I’m appreciating the spiritually and visually stunning scenes there. People are worshipping the supremely natural power and celebrating the blue sky at the new ’sacred’ centre that brings them water.” – Pilgrimage of Everyday Life, Chang, Liou and Huang

The project mainly tackles water-related issues and explores the ideal prototype of an egalitarian community centre. By introducing the fog catcher technique, it proposes to create a multi-functional gathering place for casual interaction, knowledge sharing, rites and so on.

Water is a sacred component in Nepal in terms of religious activities and everyday life. Thus, the proposal focuses on transforming conventional community centre into “pilgrimage of everyday life”. The centre draws on locally sourced, sustainable materials but seeks to use them in innovative ways, thereby allowing the villagers to preserve their traditions and harvesting water with a sense of proud and dignity. Taking inspiration of Nepalese daily outfit, Doko, the bamboo structures are interwoven with meshes to a religiously and locally significant typology, representing and encouraging the villagers to be engaged with the construction of this iconic centre- one they can appreciate and take pride in.

The fog catchers above the ground allow humid air to pass through then condense it into droplets which are transported down the funnel and then the well. Furthermore, the system is able to tremendously ameliorate the inefficiency of water collection, as well as creating ever-changing landscape formed by the glistening, translucent waxed linen. Also, the spiral structure amplifies the abundance of religious and natural power in this area, providing a place beneath it for people to worship the blue sky and celebrate the harvest of water. The plaza space can be highly flexible, used for meeting, food preparation, mediation and festive activities and so forth. The façade and exterior platforms are adorned and draped with the locals’ goods and food aroma. Thus, going to the community centre becomes a delightful and spiritual journey which one can experience personal and social transformation and celebrate the importance of local traditions, communal gatherings and Mother Earth.

Text provided by the author(s).