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Global Best Projects 2019 Project of the Year and Best Renovation/Restoration: UNESCO-Site Palace Gaddi Baithak

Stakeholder Engagement

Under UNESCO rules, no modern materials, e.g., concrete or structural steel beams, could be introduced unless they were already present in the building. So the team was limited to bricks, mud, lime and supplemental steel. The rule ended up being fortuitous. The Italian experts were familiar with “using those kinds of materials for seismic strengthening,” says Miyamoto, who is based in California. For example, the Italian engineers had designed a horizontal wood truss diaphragm system to structurally connect the building above the ceiling. “This seemed kind of weird and something you don’t see in California—usually we would use steel.” But the Italians argued that even without the materials restrictions, having such a strong, heavy material like steel in a structure otherwise comprised of brittle brick would create a new failure point. “So the [wood] solution not only satisfies UNESCO, but it’s a better structural system,” he adds.

Culturally Appropriate Methods


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