Archium gives rugged stone walls to
a radio broadcasting station in Nepal

| 11 comments
 

Thick walls made from locally sourced stone frame courtyards and corridors at this radio broadcasting station in the Nepalese town of Jomsom, designed by Korean studio Archium (+ slideshow).

Nepal Radio Broadcasting by ARCHIUM from South Korea

Architect Kim In-cheurl of Seoul-based Archium developed the building for the Mustang Broadcasting Community (MBC), a radio station launched last year to serve residents and visitors in the remote Mustang region of north-west Nepal.

Nepal Radio Broadcasting by ARCHIUM from South Korea

Situated on a ledge close to the banks of the Kali Gandaki River, 3000 metres above sea level, the building was designed to utilise locally available materials and labour.

Nepal Radio Broadcasting by ARCHIUM from South Korea

To protect employees and guests from the strong winds prevalent in the region, the building is enveloped in walls made from a local stone called gneiss that also helps the radio station merge with the surrounding landscape of rock-strewn mountains.

Nepal Radio Broadcasting by ARCHIUM from South Korea

Tall walls punctuated by small glazed openings line the edges of a paved pathway, creating a sheltered entrance to the site.

Nepal Radio Broadcasting by ARCHIUM from South Korea

Influenced by the arrangement of vernacular houses, the building's meeting rooms and broadcasting facilities are organised around courtyards that allow natural light to reach glazed walls and windows.

Nepal Radio Broadcasting by ARCHIUM from South Korea

An antenna rises from the centre of the largest courtyard and is surrounded by strings of colourful flags.

Nepal Radio Broadcasting by ARCHIUM from South Korea

Cement columns support the ceilings of cloisters surrounding the courtyards, helping to shield the interiors from direct sunlight.

Nepal Radio Broadcasting by ARCHIUM from South Korea

Some of the rooms are lined with the same substantial rocks used for the external walls, while others feature walls constructed from tightly packed smaller stones. A chunky stone slab supported by wooden legs also creates a robust natural desk in one of the studios.

Nepal Radio Broadcasting by ARCHIUM from South Korea

Stools carved by hand from solid tree trunks furnish several of the rooms, which are paved in the same irregular stone slabs used for the outdoor spaces.

Nepal Radio Broadcasting by ARCHIUM from South Korea

Wood was used for window frames and doors to provide a warm and tactile contrast to the imposing stone surfaces that form the walls, floors and ceilings.

Nepal Radio Broadcasting by ARCHIUM from South Korea

Photography is by Jun Myung-jin.

Here's some more information from Archium:


Himalesque, Jomsom, Nepal

Himalesque in the plateau of Nepal and against its backdrop of unlimited nature, was another solution to the local climate conditions. The local traditional boundary markers are constructed from spaces with a thick outer skin, in order to solve the condition of a plateau in a lump. I paid attention to the deconstruction of the thickness of the boundary wall I divided of enclosed space which is separated from the outside according to functions.

Nepal Radio Broadcasting by ARCHIUM from South Korea

A gap can be created in between the stone wall blocking wind and the glass wall, forming inner space. Site conditions facing strong winds with changing directions, from rainy seasons to dry seasons, and environmental conditions require that a cool, unheated space is maintained, in spite of the extreme daily temperature differences, reorganised by contemporary methods with local materials.

Nepal Radio Broadcasting by ARCHIUM from South Korea

The small garden in between the separated walls open up a space seemingly destined to be confined by a softening wind and full light exposure, making a gap to establish its relationship with nature.

Nepal Radio Broadcasting by ARCHIUM from South Korea
Ground floor plan - click for larger image
Nepal Radio Broadcasting by ARCHIUM from South Korea
Roof plan - click for larger image
Nepal Radio Broadcasting by ARCHIUM from South Korea
Section one - click for larger image
Nepal Radio Broadcasting by ARCHIUM from South Korea
Section two - click for larger image
Nepal Radio Broadcasting by ARCHIUM from South Korea
East elevation - click for larger image
Nepal Radio Broadcasting by ARCHIUM from South Korea
North elevation - click for larger image
Nepal Radio Broadcasting by ARCHIUM from South Korea
West elevation - click for larger image
  • Freddy Garcia

    Overkill, stones are nice, but too much make you stone.

  • Ross

    Its a little contrived; a dry stone wall introduced into a contemporary project would be far more interesting than making one float over a corner-less window… hashtag, steel structure?

  • ross

    It isn’t made from local stone, they stuck it on. Hashtag local big pebbledash?

  • Ross

    Echo, echo, echo… hang on, we’re on air for crying out loud?

  • Jimmyboy82

    Having travelled Nepal extensively and knowing how remote this area is this building is actually quite an achievement. It is very difficult for most people to imagine the lack of logistics in this part of the world and the extreme weather conditions that settlements have to endure year in year out. It is very likely that most of the materials and equipment for this structure will have been carried to the site on the backs of mules and or people and it will probably have been built with the most rudimentary of tools. Having said all this I think it fits into the landscape very well and looks very solid so it will likely last a while. I wonder how many of those windows were smashed in transit? They are quite a luxury in the mountainous regions, most windows are covered with canvas or plastic.

    • Zana

      I agree. I’ve also travelled Nepal and it truly represents a fantastic achievement.

  • eidamm

    I’d love to see the construction details, especially at the lintels.

  • Concerned Citizen

    It’s stone, for crying out loud. Stone does not want to be supported by steel or concrete, only by the earth. All those openings want to be arched, not flat.

  • TFO

    Primal in the most fantastic of ways. Although, I think the ceilings/soffits of stone are a bit overkill and not worth the gymnastics.

  • Scott Valentine

    How the hell did they get those stones to stick to the underside of the sofit?! If it’s just some sort of tile glue then you’d be nuts to walk into that building in anything less than a hardhat. If anyone knows please enlighten us all.

  • Gary Walmsley

    A radio station? WOW. Very unique and creative. Nice use of local materials.