Nepal Architecture Archive

Established in 2016, the Nepal Architecture Archive (NAA) is a unique repository of research conducted by national and international scholars and practitioners on the built landscape of Nepal across time.

The conceptual premise of our archive emerged from a spontaneous and spirited conversation – between Arun Saraf, Namita Saraf, Neils Gutschow and Eric Theofiled – at the Yak and Yeti bar, in 2009, which quickly morphed into a detailed restoration and documentation project. As the Saraf Foundation initiated the Taragaon restoration project, in parallel, we also began researching and acquiring documents on the nuanced histories of our landscape. Today, NAA consists of a comprehensive collection of sketches, photographs, indigenous architectural drawings, and detailed documents on the material culture of Nepal.

These archival documents are digitized – under the guidance of Eka Resources – and are now accessible to the public on written requests. As part of our objective on heritage preservation, the Saraf Foundation continues to work with locals and expatriates to collect and organize documents and archival material relevant to the region. Thus, archiving is an ongoing process at NAA, a spacethat also provides a secure and controlled environment with adequate material storage facilities for the acquired documents.

NAA receives diverse collections of materials regularly, which then undergo a digital scanning process, online references, and copyright adjustment according to international copyright standards. Thus, we play an integral role in ensuring that indigenous architecture and baatsukala – the understanding of traditional processes, materials, and designs – are preserved and rendered accessible to architects that lead renovation and restoration projects. After the earthquake of 2015, NAA provided authentic documents to the restoration team at Kasthamandap, and thus, it was rebuilt as per the original design and materials.

Scholars whose works feature at the NAA include: Niels Gutschow, Wolfgang Korn, Jørgen Rahbek Thomsen & Jens Wærum (Danish Architects team), John Harrison, Andreas Brandt, Robert Powell, Konstanty Gutschow, Thomas Kelly, Tiziano Terzani, Axel Weller, Klaus Kunzmann, Klaus Kette, Franz Frei, Ulrich Burscher, Thomas Turscher, Raimund Wuldz, and Peter Herrle amongst others.


In 2013, as the Taragaon restoration project began, around 150 exhibits were collected from various renowned scholars who worked in Nepal. Over the years, this collection continued to grow, and by 2015, nearly 2000 archives were housed at the Saraf Foundation. Due to this tremendous response, we received an impetus to establish a physical archive – and thus NAA was conceptualized, designed, and launched in 2016, with the support of Neils Gutschow and his team.

The largest collections were received from a Danish group of architects, as well as Wolfgang Korn, Dr. Becker, Peace Corp. volunteers, Barbara Adams, and Neils Gutschow, who also supported the collection of wood carvings and pottery from Bhaktapur and old brick samples from various monuments.

Over the years, the Foundation has received different types of materials including: Architectural drawings, maps, sketches, photographs, slides, negatives, beta tapes, books, research documents, reference documents, proposals, feasibility studies, unpublished reports, diaries, manuscripts and digital materials.

  • Andreas Brandt donates copies of his drawings documenting villages of Nepal
  • Ursula Schulz-Dornburg and Jaroslav Poncar donate photographs
  • Niels Gutschow donates pencil sketches made by his father Konstanty
  • Wolfgang Rang donates paintings
  • Klaus R. Kunzmann donates drawings

Materials received from Niels Gutschow.

Materials received from Niels Gutschow.
  • Danish architects donate the Bungamati collection
  • Wolfgang Korn donates materials from Bhaktapur and Bungamati.
  • Collection of materials acquired from Barbara Adams
  • Lily Eversdijk’s original drawing acquired from the Barbara Adams collection
  • Dr. Becker-Ritterspach materials acquired
  • 40 drawings of Klaus Kunzmann received (Part of Taragaon Lecture Series).
  • Digital files from Axel Weller received
  • 20 drawings acquired from Dr. Peter Harrle.
  • Collection grew significantly with materials from: Axel Weller, Niels Gutschow, Robert Powell, Benedetta Tagliabue, Mark Dwadan, Konstanty Gutschow, Klaus Kette, Gyanendra Joshi, and Bijaya Basukala, along with drawings from John Harrison.
  • Photographs from Judith Chase
  • Books from Dr. Peter Herrle (Freie Universität Berlin)
  • Pots added to the existing collection of Bhaktapur pottery
  • Wooden Tharu collection
  • Niels Gutschow and Bijaya Basukala drawings
  • Material collected from Niels Gutschow, Bijaya Basukala & Klaus Kette.
  • Two original drawings was acquired from the collection of Robert Powell.
  • Niels Gutschow donated his materials the archive before leaving Nepal for good. It collection includes materials from Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur and Gorkha. The collection was received with other research materials.
  • The foundation acquired a large collection of Kirtipur survey by Reinhard Herdick, the collection was acquired from his daughter. The collection includes over 15000 photographs, maps, plans and drawings from Kirtipur, it also includes a small collection of slides from Ladakh .
  • Wolfgang Korn donated his extensive collection of Licchavi chaitya photographs from the 70s, including a small set of drawings from Solukhumbu
  • Wolfgang Korn donated further materials from Kathmandu, Patan, Sol Khumbu Bungamati and Khokana, the collection includes , Photos, slides, negatives, survey maps, plans and drawings.

Social Media

Subscribe & Follow Us Below to Stay up to Date

© Saraf Foundation. All rights reserved. Website by Cn'C.