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Literal Duplication, Liberal Contextualism

approach where construction materials are mostly imported from India, increasing high transportation costs and taxes, they are also less appropriate to the climate and cannot replace the traditional construction material in terms of creating the thermal mass in hot sunny days and cold winter nights, like the rammed earth to act to its utmost advantage. Hence, the traditional features and the design of buildings which were constructed with traditional materials and techniques are replaced by cement and steel which is just a false imitation and it has spread in the entire country, without any consideration of climatic conditions. Some of the examples where the practice of imitation has reach its extreme in Bhutanese traditional architecture features and spread in the country. Starting from the top of the house, the pitched roofs, according to climatic and material availability the roofing used to be light weight made up of wood singles(colder regions), with slates, thatched roof and bamboos (hotter regions). For example, in hotter regions, the practice of thatch roof used to be common, the dry grass is pressed with a bamboo post and tie it with bamboo thread. Then the wind will not blow off the roof and can last for four to five years and likewise the wooden singles used to be placed on top of the wooden trusses and place stones on top to prevent from strong wind. But now the most of the houses in urban towns are replaced with CGI (corrugated galvanized iron) sheets which are fixed with the truss members with the help of nails and hooks, whereby nails were yet to come in the past. The traditional wooden trusses and the tapered columns (Kachhen)


has carved and

curved capitals which is used to be seen in Dzongs and royal buildings, but rarely found in residential buildings in the past. The importance of those carvings and the curves in the columns and trusses use to give a typical Bhutanese design, which is losing it significance after the use of steel and cements. Nowadays, carvings are done by the non-skilled labors (non-national), who has a least knowledge of the construction of traditional features, has made the detailing easier and missing lots of elements. This bow shaped capitals and carvings were not only for aesthetic purpose, also it was a structural members which is missing today.


Local name of tapered columns.


Dissertation: Literal Duplication, Liberal Contextualism  

It is the combined ideas of people, who thinks that Bhutanese Architecture has many different perspectives if we look into. Nation's goal...