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The Secular House: A Manual for Preservation and Seismic Improvement of Vernacular Stone Dwellings in Bhutan

Part 2 Dissertation 2021
Manuela Reitsma
Polytechnic University of Turin | Italy
The research aims to find technological solutions for the recovery of rural stone houses in Bhutan, with the purpose of ensuring the safety of their inhabitants against earthquakes, that shake the region.

Bhutan is a small country, located in the Himalayas, advancing in a globalized world, poised between the push of modernization that has invaded the territory and the traditionalist soul that keeps the uniqueness of this culture afloat. The great challenge of this research, therefore, lies in finding innovative technological solutions, while respecting the architectural and social vernacular culture of the Bhutanese rural context.

This study is aimed to all those who will face these issues, but above all it is addressed to local technicians and craftsmen, that are often called to intervene on the recovery and maintenance of the housing heritage. The graphic language chosen must be understandable even to those who have no particular technical knowledge, involving every inhabitant of the country. The work is developed through the analysis of the seismic risk and then through the study of the characteristic features of traditional architecture, construction technologies and traditional building materials. After the study of common techniques, we finally reach the realization of a manual of intervention.

Manuela Reitsma

Takayoshi Aoki
Francesca de Filippi
Roberto Pennacchio
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