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Eda Uraz: Hope & Resistance

Earthquake Resistant Strategies Through A Prototype School.

This master’s thesis is about developing a series of systems and strategies for a prototype school which can be adaptable to different climate regions and buildable with different material options based on local availabilities and limited resources in Nepal.

This master’s thesis addresses the lack of educational facilities in Nepal, where 8.000 schools were lost in the devastating Gorkha earthquake in 2015. There is a need to complete the educational facilities as fast as possible. This project aims to develop an ideal school, which must be flexible and easily applicable with its special strategies to any climate region.

The vision was to develop a school project that is safe, earthquake resistant, and which represents local identity. Recently, the confidence in the local structural quality has been diminishing among the local cultures, as the desire for stronger structure is popularised with concrete buildings. However, most studies prove that the local structural quality is very stable and still standing after 3 big earthquakes rocked Nepal in the last century. Hence, the aim of this master’s dissertation is to complete a school project with earthquake resistant techniques by combining local architectural footprints and contemporary ones within a participatory design process: by including local communities in order to teach them new interpretations, to build an educational building from scratch, to establish confidence in the safety of the new building, and to incentivise the local people to carry out new techniques in the future. This way, Nepal would be stronger against possible earthquakes that may happen in the future and protect its indigenous cultures by following local characteristics.

Consequently, this architectural proposal is completed by research based approaches within environmental and spatial strategies in order to design a prototype, a home as a community space, a flexible design, a proven earthquake-resistant building and a safe shelter.