Blog Post nr. 4
MARCH 11th 2018
THE PLAN – SAGARMATHA NEXT CENTER
The initial plan was to create a Sculpture Park with amazing sculptures made from waste materials in the Khumbu Valley to remind everyone of the importance of keeping the area clean and thereby ensure a sustainable future both for the local people and visitors.
Many discussions followed and slowly the idea took the shape more of a center for locals as well as for visitors focused on environmental sustainability, creative art & design as well as promotion of the Khumbu area.
The idea became a facility where locals and visitors could be inspired and take part in the transformation of waste materals into art and designed products as well as a place where everyone could share efforts and become participants in upholding a clean and healthy environment for future generations to enjoy and experience.
Finally the facility evolved into a center that also could be a main driving force in creating local jobs and cottage industries with revenues that can be reinvested into covering the cost of transportation of all waste out of the Khumbu Valley for recycling.
The location of the center was chosen to be at Syangboche Airstrip located some 300 altitude metres above Namche Bazaar, the main hub for visitors to the Khumbu Area.
The land chosen is located the trail to Everest View Hotel which most visiting tourists choose to go to on their restday.
The design of the center focused from the start on using traditional building techniques and locally available building materials as much as possible.
At the same time the aim was to create buildings that were earthquake safe, ecological in all aspects with shapes and forms that would ensure sustainability as well as maximum efficiency in operating and maintaining them.
The unique design and vision for these buildings created by the architects will hopefully be a source of inspiration for the local people in future constructions.
Foundations and walls will mainly consist of stone and metal/wood reinforcements, the predominantly building materials in the Khumbu region.
The stone breakers chop the stone out of cliffs by hand and sledgehammers and the blocks each 30-60 kg’s are carried down to the construction site approximately one mile away.
There a team of masons chip each rock into four or five different shapes, sizes and forms(square, rectangular, triangular, oval etc) depending on where its going to be used.
All this work is done solely by hand without the use of machines and is a highly skilled and demanding work requiring a lot of experience and patience!
Cement is used in the foundations and the traditional lime mud mortar for the walls to reinforce and bind the stone structures together.
The roof structures will be mainly produced in saelwood and pine with steel reinforcements and the outer roof material will be mainly copper and on one building recycled corrugated tin will be used as an example of how to reuse waste materials.
Another example of waste material recycling will be the use of airfilled pet bottles as insulation in the walls of one of the buildings.
The Buildings of SAGARMATHA NEXT CENTER will offer visitors a variety of experiences:
The Workshop & The Shop is where artists and designers create and produce artwork and design products both indoor and at an outdoor work area and in the shop the produced design products will be displayed and offered for sale.
The Gallery & The Café here visitors will able to see various types of art exhibitions and touch, enjoy and purchase the created artwork as well as relax and enjoy organic foods and beverages.
The Interpretation Center will have a film hall for documentaries & films about the Sagarmatha Next Center & Waste Upcycling, Climbing & Trekking in the Khumbu region, Sherpa Culture, Flora & Fauna etc. Further there will be digital and non digital exhibitions and VR/Virtual and AR/Augmented Reality experiences on the mentioned topics.
The digital capability of the center will also ensure that all activities carried out at the center such as exhibitions, waste upcycling and art & design workshops can be shared with schools in the educational system of Nepal or anywhere in the world.
The House will be the base for the staff working at the center as well as a place for visiting artists and designers to stay overnight.
The management and operations of the center will be based on local ownership and nepali staff, with the initial support from the founding partners until operations are up and running.
Once the operations of the center are firmly established the main responsibility will be taken over by the local management team.
Supporting the waste management system operations in the Khumbu region longterm, both financially as well as thru educational programmes is one of the main objectives for Sagarmatha Next Center.
The Start Up of construction work began in September 2017 and the plan is to conclude the construction of the center by spingtime 2019 with the opening preliminary set for April 1st 2019.
The Longterm Vision of Sagarmatha Next is also to serve as a concept solution for other areas in Nepal or elsewhere in the world with similar challenges and needs.
Next Blog nr 5: NEXT STEP-Sagarmatha Next will be posted in April 2018.