Setting up a ‘Little Bauhaus’ in Ladakh
The Tibet Heritage Fund (THF) is setting up a ‘little Bauhaus’ in Ladakh: Artisans, Artist and Architects Guild (AAAG) in Leh Old Town. This project aims to set up a platform where the local skills, traditional knowledge and wisdom on Himalayan crafts and architecture can be gathered, promoted and sustain. 

The AAAG aims to take the role of ‘exchange platform’ not only at regional but also at national and international level, for people who shares a common interest on leaning about traditional building techniques and materials, promoting about living heritage and community based conservation approach. THF believes that people who have skills and knowledge of craftsmanship are the resources who can create the future and bring shapes into the reality with they own hands and locally available materials.   

THF’s local affiliate Leh Old Town Initiative (LOTI) has trained a team of local artisans to working in the conservation of Leh Old Town over a decade. Their experience and knowledge will be contributed to the sustainability of the building crafts and they will play a important role in the AAA guild. 

Generally, due to the long winters, the artisans can only work on construction 6 to 7 months in a year and need to look for another job in the rest of the time. The AAAG will create opportunities to sustain their profession through the long winter season, by creating crafts, organizing workshop, producing goods and items, which will bring income to sustain their lives and the guild. 

The AAAG will be located in a traditional Ladakhi house in the old town. THF/LOTI has two houses in mind and the negotiation with the houses owners for long term use of the building are in progress. One house is the Rupshu Goba located below the Leh palace and the other is the Demo Tashi house in the lower part of the old town. Building condition surveys were made and plans for the repair are in progress.
With the support of Perween Rahman Fellowship 2014, THF/LOTI began to work on two rural historic buildings in Ladakh. Stanzin Tandup is the community architect, team leader and project coordinator, leading a group of architecture students to survey the house of traditional healers, and the temple of Chumathang village community. Based on the collected data, architectural drawings were processed and the building condition study was made. In Chumathang, under the supervision of Stanzin Tundup, THF/LOTI’s artisan team repaired the roof and secured the historic wall painting from the further damage. Both local communities have been involved to provide construction materials and logistic assistance. The project will continue for the 2015 season. | Yutaka Hirako and Pimpim De Azevedo

For more information you can visit THF website or contact Yutaka at
Tibet Heritage Fund (THF)
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