Bamboo Crafts and Earthen Construction with Nripal & Pranathi
  • Kathmandu, Nepal
  • 20 hours over 5 days

Bamboo Crafts and Earthen Construction with Nripal & Pranathi

Discover ancient building and joinery techniques from architects Pranathi and Nripal, who are pushing the boundaries of bamboo in Nepal. Learn furniture construction in their artist retreat that they built themselves, in the sub-tropical hills of Dhulikhel overlooking the Himalayas.

    Pricing

    One Guest
    USD $585
    Additional guest(s) (max 4)
    USD $250

    Accommodation

    One Guest
    USD $290
    Additional guest(s)
    USD $120

    Meet the Artist

    Pranathi and Nripal are architects and designers who specialize in building with natural materials - specifically rammed earth and bamboo. They founded a design and build architectural practice which aims to safeguard and promote the ancient building crafts of Nepal. Being one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse country (with over 100 languages spoken) Nepal has nurtured many intricate ancient building techniques, which are, however, slowly under threat of dying due to industrialization and globalization.

    As young designers, they feel the responsibility to safeguard and promote these ancient building crafts so they continue to be relevant in today's context. They therefore, integrate traditional craftsmanship with modern design and engineering to build public spaces, schools, boutique hotels, and furniture. They strive to use earth and bamboo for its structural quality without compromising on its aesthetic; combining form and function in a minimal design. They specialize in using all natural finishes and joinery too; for example some of the furniture has custom bamboo dowels or bronze details and is finished with natural lacquer to ensure that it is ecological and creative to the last detail.

    Pranathi and Nripal have also built a beautiful farm and studio in the hills of Dhulikhel, overlooking the Himalayas; their goal is to be completely off-grid and self sufficient in food production while promoting ancient crafts of earth and bamboo construction. By hosting curious and creative souls and encouraging the exchange of ideas and energy, they are hoping to create something unique! When taking a break from their art, they also enjoy tasting some of the finest teas that Nepal has to offer.

    VAWAA Includes:

    • Learning all about bamboo and earth, the holistic experience of the supply chain, sourcing, treatment and finishing of a natural product.
    • Guided tour of the farm and bamboo plantation in Chitwan learning bamboo identification for a variety of bamboo.
    • Envisioning bamboo product design with a master carpenter in the studio.
    • Understanding the joinery and fixing details specific to bamboo crafts.
    • Working on various construction sites alongside local craftsmen and communicating with them to bring a project to life.
    • Understanding the concepts of earthen construction through working with earth plasters and earth paint to build walls for an on-going project site.
    • Weaving bamboo with the local weaver community to create baskets and other bamboo products.
    • Visiting some of Nripal and Pranathi's project sites, heritage architectural sites, and neighboring farms for inspiration.
    • Seeing the bamboo nursery and permaculture farm.
    • All materials and equipment.

    Stay at Nripal & Pranathi's

    Stay in a private room in the Dhulikhel house, a rammed earth structure with windows opening out to a panoramic view of the Himalayas, where Nripal and Pranathi live. The Dhulikhel house has a shared master bathroom with a copper bathtub made by a local coppersmith. You'll be surrounded by examples of Nripal and Pranathi's craft, from wooden flooring and traditional tiled roofing, to bamboo and wooden elements in the furniture and interiors that compliment the beautiful pastel palette.

    There is an additional earth and bamboo pod structure facing the rice fields, which has a private bathroom, a kitchenette and studio space. During your stay, you can also work in their permaculture farm, go on hikes and cook food sourced from the farm and local markets.

    You will be around a friendly dog, Frida, as well as three cows, chicks, and goats in the farm close by.

    Explore Kathmandu

    Nepal is one of the few countries boasting a living tradition of handicrafts that are lost to the world owing to mechanization. People still work with their hands and traditional tools to maintain the uniqueness and finesse only possible with the human touch. Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, has been a melting pot for artistic genres for centuries as it was a crucial juncture in the ancient trade routes. It draws heavily from the Tibetan and Indian megaliths and also has brilliantly unique ethnic flavors from remote regional tribes who still continue to live in the forests.

    Art draws inspiration from the bountiful surrounding nature of the Himalayas, the rivers and animals as well as the mystical beliefs ranging from Hinduism, Buddhism and Tantric systems. It is a colorful, creative and sustainable lineage of craftspeople who have reinvented the craft through the ages without losing the essence of its origins.

    Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Boudhanath Stupa, the famous Hindu Pashupatinath Temple, and buddhist monasteries. Explore the historic royal complex of Kathmandu Durbar Square and buy food from the local farmer's market on Saturdays. The Garden of Dreams park boasts lotus ponds and fountains, and there are many hiking opportunities nearby. Immerse in local culture by taking Nepali cooking classes, learning Hatha style yoga, and experiencing a Himalayan Spa supported by community members.

    Additional Details

    Best time to visit is during Dashain festival towards the end of October, or during the winter time to catch the panoramic views of the Himalayas, between December and February. It's best to avoid monsoon season, between mid-June and September.

    This VAWAA is available for a longer duration, up to 90 days, if interested in being a part of long term research or creative projects. It can also be taught in Chitwan, Nepal. Please ask when you send your booking request.

    Can be adapted for kids and elderly. Due to geographic factors, it may be tricky to accommodate guests on wheelchairs or with special needs.

    You will be around a friendly dog, Frida, as well as three cows, chicks, and goats in the farm close by.
    Nripal & Pranathi's Availability 5 days