MELA SCHOOL 2 | MAHADEVTAR, KAVRE, NEPAL

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The second Mela school and toilet block were completed and inaugurated on the 6th April 2015, shortly before the first strong earthquake hit the region.

 

Construction cost and furniture :                         7 414 USD

Overheads :                                      2 311 USD

Total :                                            9 725 USD

 

Construction manager:                                                    Eva Neumayerová

      

MELA school project by Meem Architecture is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Creative Commons License

 

 

REFLECTIONS ON MELA

The project was not drawn on the best practice of the day (not known by the team then) of community participation, but rather was designed as a sustainable product to fight in the market of imports; to counterweight the expanding influence of Western-like concrete mansions with 19th century facades, poorly adapted to the climate and community resources, with a design that would be simple, modest, low-carbon, low emission, affordable but still perceived as attractive due to its import-like, innovative and contemporary-design character.

Complications with inadequate community involvement were harshly felt during construction and after completion of the first building - community perceived the building as a gift rather than mutual project, and there is an ongoing issue of poor maintenance resulting from the lack of sense of ownership. While some of the issues were sorted in the consequent construction with change of technologies and details, the project in its multiplicable potential only really gained ground after the big earthquakes in 2015, when villagers and organisations started to appreciate the surviving structures. The low-carb seismic-proof Mela prototype can only win over less suitable imports with its substantial scaling up - the evolution and spread of its memes. For all future Mela replications, true interest and desire in participation from the part of the community are essential to achieve the long-term sustainable goal.