Restoration & Preservation


Building “A” seen from the south | Dec 10, 2009
The space between the two rooms on the left was closed in with a shed rood. It was planned to remove all later additions to the structure and preserve the buildings in their original design. The vaulted roofs were covered in black lichen and mold. Walls had been damaged by leaks through damaged roofs.


Over the years the hotel was adapted for many new uses: project offices during the construction of the Hyatt Hotel, storage facilities, and accommodations for security stand and casino operations. Buildings were added, and spaces were enclosed with cheaply built shacks made from corrugated metal and recycled brick.

During those years maintenance was almost nonexistent, and only some makeshift repairs, such as temporary steel roofs over brick buildings and installation of plastic tarps covering flat roofs, prevented even more damage to the original buildings.

Damaged brick masonry was poorly patched with cement mortar and silicon. Leaking windows were repaired with bitumen. Unchecked growth of Pipal trees caused some of the most serious damage. Poor storm water drainage and clogged drains caused additional damage to walls and foundations.

All of the original electrical and sanitary installations were either broken or so outdated that little could be salvaged.


The primary goal of the restoration concept was to bring back the buildings to their original appearance. No additions, new buildings, or changes to the exterior architecture were planned within the complex. However, Taragaon’s new usage as a documentation centre necessitated some adaptations of the interior layout. Electrical installations, bathrooms and toilets, windows and doors were all replaced with modern, high-quality products, while still staying true to the intention of the original design.

Left image- Building “G” seen from the east | Oct 5, 2010
Patio spaces between the rooms were enclosed to provide extra room for guard quarters. Walls were capped with plain cement mortar to prevent water infiltration.

Middle Image- Building “G” seen from the east | Oct 20, 2010
The shacks between the original buildings (where the white painted walls remain) were demolished. This building will provide three artist in residence apartments.

Right Image- Building “C” seen from the north | Dec 10, 2009
Over the years most structures were extensively altered and build onto. All such changes will be reversed to bring the buildings back to their original form.

Left Image- Building “B” | Dec 10, 2009
This photo shows temporary plastic roof covers and protective steel shed roofs.

Right Image- Buildings “B” and “C” seen from the north | Dec 10, 2009
The original building’s roof on the left was so badly damaged that a temporary metal roof was built over it for protection. All other vaulted roofs and flat roofs are leaking and have partly been covered with tarps and metal sheets.

Left Image- Building “G” seen from the south | Oct 20, 2010
Extensive damage to the walls by a Pipal tree root system. In addition, the slanted walls foundations have sagged causing cracks in the walls.

Middle Image- Building “F” seen from the north-west | Dec 10, 2009
Typical damage caused by Pipal roots.

Right Image- Building “F” seen from the north-west | Dec 10, 2009
Extensive damage of walls was caused by clogged drainpipes located on the inside of walls.


Since the buildings have not been maintained for many years, most of the walls are stained by lichen, mold and other organic growth. Clogged and overflowing roof drains have caused water infiltration into the building and caused damage to the interiors. Foundation settlements have resulted in large cracks in some of the walls (e.g. extension of building “G”). Pipal trees have posed a major threat to the structural integrity of the buildings. The unchecked growth of roots had found their way to the base of the buildings’ foundations and have caused extensive damage. Significant damage was seen on building “H,” where a Pipal tree had dislodged the northern wall by several inches. Many years of water leakage had also damaged this part of the building to the extent of collapse.


Eradicating the Pipal trees that had established themselves in the structure for many years was a difficult endeavor. All loose and damaged masonry was removed and the root system was pulled out as much as possible. Chemical treatment was used on the small roots that were potentially threatening to the building foundation. An acid solution and pesticides were injected in the roots to eliminate the potential of future growth. The consolidation of weak or damaged foundation was decided on a case to case basis. For example, the settlements of the eastern side of building “G” did not pose a structural threat to the building and did not need to be rebuilt. Cracks in the walls were patched with waterproof mortar to avoid further damages. For example,a large Pipal root system on the northern wall of building “F” caused extensive damage. Both the wall and parts of the foundations needed to be rebuilt, in addition to the concrete ceiling structure. The bricks laid on the edge and at the top of most of the walls have weakened and dislodge in many places. Overall, all loose masonry was removed, cleaned and reset in waterproof mortar. All masonry had to be carefully cleaned from all organic grows and residue using brushes, detergents and high-pressure water cleaners.