Centre for Peace (or Peace Building Memorial & Learning Centre) aims to be a place for peace making and reconciliation. Here like minded individuals, focus groups, organizations and the local community can come together to express/ share their ideas and to research on this process. Designing the centre is to create spaces conducive to such activities.
Both the passive and active interaction approaches for the peace building processes are considered in the space planning. Gathering halls, workshops, library, archives, museums, contemplation areas are planned accordingly. In addition, the mood and ambiance of the spaces are derived from the natural built environment in textures, color, form and shapes which are to be subtle, placid, conducive to peace building processes.
As to the regional socio-cultural dynamics of the site: The Indigenous Tharu people inhabit the surroundings area. This ancient community has their own way of living, guided by their cultures and traditions. In the course modernization their tribal knowledge and skills are at risk of becoming obsolete. Furthermore, social problems like unemployment and violence against women persists in the community. The design addresses and emphasizes these issues. Improving vernacular building construction technology and upgrading local skills by involving and training the local community in the construction process is foreseen. The improved skills will create employment opportunities for women and the youth. Involving the local community in the process will uplift their living standards and consequently assist in promoting peace and prosperity in the community.
Likewise, the ecological sensitivity of the site is also taken into account. The site spreads out amidst the farmland, adjacent to the buffer zone of the Chitwan National Park and banks of the Narayani River. The design focuses to develop the center in harmony with the existing ecosystem. Built infrastructures are kept to a minimum, while preserving open green spaces for landscape, farmlands, bogs and wetlands. Natural site features like existing trees, topography and water channels have been retained. Vegetative regeneration with native plant species is incorporated in the design. The design intends to keep the embodied carbon energy to a minimum by using eco-friendly building materials sourced locally. Likewise, the buildings are designed to be climate responsive, the hot tropical climatic conditions require ample natural cross-ventilation and insulation. The design features an eco-friendly waste water and storm water as well as solid waste management system. It intends to promote the concepts of permaculture and holistic sustainability. The center shall be serving the food produced organically in its own premises and fishes from the water channels, in its canteen.
The Narayani River stretches far to the jungle, the Chitwan National Park on the background. The sandbanks and the river shores are inundated every monsoon.
The vernacular architecture in the region, built of wattle-daub walls and ridged roofs are generally surrounded by fruit-bearing trees.
The houses in the region feature an entry porch and are often painted rich bright colors.
The site lays out amidst the paddy fields. The paddy fields extend to the Narayani River banks. The Chitwan National Park on the background.
The first building for the centre at the rear south east end of the property, intended for multi-purpose. The building is built on stilts to protect from flooding.
Locals attending an interaction program by Nagarik Aawaz in the premises. On the background, the first building built for the centre.
A mason laying fishing nets in the irrigation canal that passes through the property.