Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Newari House

Newari House
By: Jabina Shrestha 

It has come to almost end of spring semester 2013, just 3 weeks from today. My calendar is full of marked deadlines for assignments, projects, presentations paper. In order to get all things accomplished on time, time management is a must. In the beginning of the semester, we were told to finish 85% of our thesis projects by the end of spring and leave 15 % during summer for making good presentations renderings. With that note every one of us are trying our best to finish as much as we can. But besides thesis, there are other courses as well, that is consuming most of the time. ARC 532 Global History by Professor Jon Davey is one of the course that all graduate students are supposed to take this spring semester.

I would like to share my experience in this class for today’s blog.

Let me start with the first part of project. We had to choose a historical building, study it’s historical, construction, materials, social, political, cultural considerations, climatic factors, and then write a paper on it. The good thing about writing a paper is that I learned how to write paper in APA format which will help and make me easy to do the written part of thesis.

I chose Newari tradition house for my paper since I am familiar with this typology but still wanted to learn more in depth. The challenging part of the paper was to include a 3d Max video that shows an activity that people do in the building. Since most of us had never used in our entire life, we had to do it in about a weeks’ time. For the second project, we are supposed to make a model of any structure existing in the world. I had knowledge about the building so wanted to implement it by making a sectional model of the house.
I started designing the house with plan, section and elevation in AutoCAD. Within the coherence of style, materials, building height, and elevation symmetry, there is a rich diversity of detail and decoration. So I had to limit myself to go into detail as it is not possible to show each and every small detail in that scale.
Materials has played a vital role in the development process of Newari style architecture. The main materials are the Brick, Clay and Wood. So I have used plywood and uncarved it which looks like brick and bass wood for columns, and doors, windows.

Walls are mostly a load-bearing brickwork construction with floor joists spanning between the front and back walls and the central spine wall. As you can see on the model, that stairs are made out of wood and are very steep, narrow and in one continuous flight due to the limited height between stories. Stairs run as approximately 550 pitches with seven widely spaced open treads. The entire system is held together with two joists fixed into position with wooden wedges.

Symmetry is the main aim in the design of the façade. Well, doors and windows are the one of the main elements that adds to the facade giving a Newar style Architecture. The ground floor is used as shop front so this section of the façade remains quite simply executed with a low narrow doors. The most important communication to the street, other than the door is through the San Jhya window in the main living room which is the second floor. The Sajhya is always located in the center to create a central axis for the symmetry of the Newari façade which I have tried to detail out in the model.

The roof is a double-pitched of about 40°-50° in order to make full use of the available space with the ridge on the line of the central spine wall and a projecting overhang of 900mm at front and back. This space is used as cooking area for the house. I am satisfied with this project as I could show all the detailing, materials used and newari architecture in the model.

Here are some of the images of the model of traditional newari house.


  1. Its beautiful. is it possible u could share the autocad file with me? I would like to try building it too. I will indicate credits to you and your design. Email: faithh-@live.com