International Guest Shares Current Preservation Efforts in Nepal, with PVAMU School of Architecture

Prairie View A&M University’s School of Architecture organized an international guest lecture on the Historical Architecture of Neo-Modern Nepal – A Snapshot of Stone and Style on the Sands of Time for students of History and Theory of Architecture. The visiting faculty for the lecture was Professor Yagya Raj Bhatt from Far-western University in Kanchanpur, Nepal, who has specialized in world history for the past 35 years.

In his lecture, Bhatt discussed the architectural history of the different styles of Nepali temples from ancient times to the contemporary era of the Shah Dynasty. He also introduced participants to many exclusive examples and challenges in the preservation of cultural heritage of Nepalese architecture. He shared his own experiences and why rehabilitative efforts in post-earthquake Nepal are of paramount importance.

“Inviting an international faculty from Nepal with an extensive knowledge in the area of national and world heritage sites in Nepal was a wonderful opportunity for the students and faculty at School of Architecture,” said PVAMU Professor William Batson, director of the Community Urban Rural Enhancement Service (CURES) Center, who introduced the speaker. “Professor Bhatt specifically mentioned the Panch Deval project, which the CURES Center is working on rehabilitating and preserving through the use of 3D laser scanning technology in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Nepal.”

SOA Dean Dr. Ikhlas Sabouni said, “The international experience is very important for our students’ education as they may have to practice architecture, construction management, and community development, not only in the United States but all over the world. International travel, service learning abroad, and lectures by an international expert such as Professor Bhatt are steps that the School of Architecture is taking toward achieving a global education of our students.”

A recent earthquake destroyed many historical landmarks such as the Dharahara tower in Kathmandu, Nepal. Another earthquake would be devastating to historical, cultural monuments in the Kathmandu Valley.

As per Bhatt, “The CURES Center at PVAMU has a vital role in providing collaborative opportunities to preserve Nepalese Hindu Temple-Panch Deval Architecture, which is a national heritage.” He further stated that the future collaborative opportunities between PVAMU and Far-western University, such as students and faculty exchange, international visits to share knowledge and culture, and co-mentoring the future heritage of preservation projects could help foster academic involvement and lifelong service learning opportunities for students.

By Pankaj Chhetri, School of Architecture Staff