Restoration and Adaptive Reuse of Wangduechhoeling Palace

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1. Background

Wangduechhoeling Palace in Bumthang was built in 1856 as a Mansion without any defensive purpose and it is the birthplace for Monarchy of Bhutan. It has featured in the Endangered Monument List of World Monument Fund and the palace is known to be one of the finest example of Traditional Bhutanese Architecture.

The restoration and adaptive reuse of the palace is undertaken and implemented by the Department of Culture, Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs under the patronage and benevolent guidance of Her Majesty Gyalyum Tshering Pem Wangchuck. The project was started in the year 2012 with an objective of restoring and rehabilitating the Palace as one of the important heritage buildings in the country and also to adapt for a new use which enhances the historical, architectural and cultural significance of the Palace. The project has been conceived to introduce an exemplary project for adaptive re-use of heritage buildings in the country and also as a model for working with the community on protection of heritage building in the country. The scope of the project is laid as follows:  

Phase- I:  Survey and Documentation (Architectural and Structural)

Phase-II: Restoration of the main palace including site development and landscaping

Phase – III: Museum Establishment

The total estimated of the Project is Nu. 304.23 million (including Nu. 5.23 million for survey and documentation) mobilized by the Bhutan Foundation and Nu. 30 million from the Royal Government of Bhutan for restoration of the Utse.  The project is due for completion in June, 2021.

2. Current Status:

The has completed the following works:

  • Restoration of the Sha-khor (surrounding structures of the Palace)

The project is currently working on the following

  • Site development and landscaping works
  • Museum design and planning works
  • Fire-fighting system
  • Lighting (most of the works are completed but waiting for completing the museum planning to work on the interior lightings)

3. Photograph