The word on the ground in Nepal
Article 25 site architect Marie Herber is currently based at Anandaban Hospital in Nepal, monitoring the construction of a new trauma centre for The Leprosy Mission. The new building has been designed to stringent seismic safety standards, and will provide the hospital with a new A&E department, operation theatres, wards and a maternity wing.
Why did you want to work for Article 25 in Nepal?
I strongly believe that architecture can make a difference in people’s lives. I wanted to work on a meaningful project which could help people and communities in need. Article 25’s Site Architect role for construction of the Trauma Centre appealed to me immediately!
Describe your typical day on site?
I usually meet with the Project Manager from The Leprosy Mission Nepal (TLMN) on site in the morning. We have a look around the site and raise issues with the Contractor. Some issues are straight forward and can be discussed around a delicious cup of Chia. When issues are more complex, I am in touch with the team in London for their support.
What is the aim over the coming months of the project?
We are preparing to pour the raft foundation, which is challenging in the monsoon season. We also aim to start a trial wall construction soon; it is designed with cavity walls to improve thermal performance, and this is not common practice in Nepal. The brick details will be an interesting challenge for the team.
How have you found the local cuisine?
Dal Bhat is a staple of Nepali cuisine, based around lentils and rice. It comes with meat or vegetarian curry which is perfectly spicy for our European palate. I always have room for their delicious momos! For desert, the Juju Dhau (meaning ‘King of Yogurt’) comes from Bhaktapur, and is one of the best yogurts I’ve ever had.
Where is your favourite Nepal experience?
Hiking in the Himalayas is breath-taking. I did a hike for few days in the Annapurna massif near Pokhara. The trek takes you through rainforest with waterfalls of clear Himalayan water, up to a ridge of the mountain 3100m above sea level, with views of Annapurna peaks 8100m high. You pass through remote villages with warm and welcoming Nepalis. I definitely recommend a visit to this great part of the world, where people have such a great sense of hospitality.