Babesa House Project

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Brief Background

The Division for Conservation of Heritage sites, Department of Culture under the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs has been working in the line of management and protection of heritage sites and also been working towards sustaining the cultural heritage values associated with the heritage sites corresponding to the Cultural Heritage Bill of Bhutan.

The DCHS has carried out extensive studies on the chronology and typology of the traditional building after the disastrous earthquake of 2009 and 2011 earthquakes. While the identification and recognition is important, it is even more so important for restoration/rehabilitation methodology and utilization of the traditional houses for sustenance and continuity. After the dissemination workshop held on 13th March 2018, a private house owner in Babesa, Thimphu came forward to rehabilitate her house.

Since then, the office has worked closely with the house owner in Babesa, Thimphu whose house falls under the Traditional Village Precinct in Thimphu Structural Plan. The Department has rendered support to the house owner with documentation of house, preparation of utilization proposal and monitoring of the works. The work was deemed as great opportunity to strengthen the government and private partnership. It has motivated other private house owners to venture in the same direction and rejuvenating the pride of ownership of old traditional house, thus contributing to nation’s interest of preserving and promoting cultural heritage.

Objective of the Project

The primary goal of the project was to be a model case to showcase the importance of protection of traditional houses to public.

  1. Protect and conserve the traditional buildings which have ‘Cultural Heritage Values’ in Bhutan especially in urban areas.
  2. Contributing methods for rehabilitation or re-adaptation of the house so that the end product is profitable to the owner.
  3. Establishing ownership of preserving and protecting the rich heritage in Bhutan by private house owners. This is also working towards the sustainable methodology for prolongation of the protection.

Utilization Proposal: Lodging with restaurant, with in house bathrooms and facility of hot stone bath in the compound.