Working With Local | Sandeep Bogadhi
LA 60
A Ladakh based practice that overcomes the many challenges of building in Ladakh by exploring the myriad of local materials and resources and by creating minimal yet quality designs.
It is a design build practice based out of Nubra Valley in Ladakh since last six years. It is a distinctive region with limited access, limited resources and skill sets and unskilled craftsmen. The practice is based on the premise that every context has the potential and material resource to evolve on its own to give itself a regional identity and aesthetic with the power of design and craftsmanship. The practice allows freedom to explore materials of the region and get a better understanding of its essence as well as its limitations through sampling and mock-ups. It creates an architectural journey of exploration and test of its materiality and in the process refine the craft to create timeless architecture. We believe that a good design is minimal — easy to perceive with good proportions and has good details. It uses appropriate construction methods. It has social relevance — economic/ educative/capacity building. It is rooted to the place and encourages local crafts and its refinement. Earthling was found with the aspiration of mainstreaming natural building and earthen architecture with refined craft.


For each project, significant time is spent on the micro context [strictly within the village] to identify resources [materials] which locals can relate to and source it for building their own houses. Mock-up constructions are carried out at one to one scale to understand and evaluate the material and the scale of the space. Most of the stone is redundant of controlled blasting of mountains in order to build roads and bridges. All the materials are local in the truest meaning. Each project identifies resources around a place and rearrange them to arrive at a sensible, logical construction solutions which serve for the summer as well as the harsh winters . Keen attention is given to form work, tools and transportation.


Earth is the base material across all the projects, since earth is the single, logical and obvious material available at every site, in fact everywhere on the planet. Often dug out from the site, and other soils are added from the proximity to get a desired mix.Stone is used as a complimenting material to earth, which brings contrast, and an identity to the volume. Most of the stone is redundant from the road-building department who build extensively in Ladakh, being a border area. Flat stones are extensively used as hard surfaces, which are dry, pitched without any mortar. Wood is primarily used in roof, just like in the traditional buildings in Ladakh. For every tree cut in the roof construction, we plan ten new trees of the same species within the site.


Remembering Ravindra Bhan
Editors, LA Journal of Landscape Architecture

Small is Beautiful
Intekhab alam

ladakh: environmental history, climate change |
Between Ages of Ice
Ladakh: A History of a Desert Waterscape
Rhea Shah

ladakh: cultural history, traditional wisdom and change |
From a Trade Centre to a Tourist Destination
Amrita Kaur Slatch

ladakh: regional identity, design and craftsmanship |
School Garden
Bérengère Guillon

Dolkhar |
Boutique Stay

Lachic Rigzin

Eight Senses |
An Atmospheric Construct

Priyamwada Singh

Working With Local
Sandeep Bogadhi

Showcasing Tangible and
Intangible Heritage

Debashish Borah

Re-discovering Kargil’s Forgotten Past
Muzammil Hussain Munshi

ladakh: public realm |
Sustainability and Governance |
In Conversation With Avny Lavasa

New Public Amenities in Leh
Rishav Paul

Rejuvenation of Changspa Road, Leh
Adarsha Kapoor

A Herbal Garden in Ladakh
In Conversation With Dr. Sonam Dawa

ladakh: ecology and environment |
On Development and Designing
for a Localized Future for Ladakh

Helena Norberg-Hodge

An Ancient Future at the Crossroads |
Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh

Review by Peeyush Sekhsaria

ecology and environment |
Soil Matters
Prachi Wakaley & Sonali Dahotre

view from within |
Central Vista Competition |
Debriefing the Design Brief

Geeta Wahi Dua

book review |
History Has a Teacher
If History Has Taught Us Anything
Review by Ranjeeta Dutta


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