Loft Retrofit

After the April and May 2015 earthquakes in Nepal made parts of a mid-century former schoolhouse in Kathmandu unsafe, the third story had to be demolished. This project combines a proposal for a new upper level with a renovation to the floors below. 

In collaboration with structural engineers, the third floor addition was integrated to a multi-pronged retrofitting strategy with the lower floors of the loadbearing masonry structure.

Evidence of seismic reinforcements including steel dowels, mesh reinforcement of portals, injection grouting, post-tensioning and the addition of steel wide-flange beams are all expressed as yet another addition to generations of alterations to the original structure. Plaster that used to cover the brickwork is stripped away, while seismic retrofitting is expressed both inside and out. 

With lower floors being programmed as classroom spaces, evidence of retrofitting is didactically made explicit.

In the second phase of the project a lightweight steel and polycarbonate structure the older masonry structure and an adjoining structure. An aging and seismically weak timber and mud brick floor plate and wall were removed to create a double-height translucent space.