PAST PROJECTS  |  2015 -2017

Nyoma

Short description of the project. Not more than 3 lines. 

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Introduction

In 2015 the Achi team carried out the survey and condition assessment of a remarkable gateway chörten at Nyoma, in the area of Changthang. Inside the chörten is a large cubic chamber that is topped by a wooden lantern ceiling of five levels, with painted wooden sculptures and in-relief gilding. All the sidewalls are entirely decorated with exquisite wall paintings. A stylistic and iconographic analysis made by art historian Nils Martin links them to the king Bhagdarskyab, ruler of Wanla around the turn of the 14th century. Over the course of time, a deformation of the upper part of the chörten caused severe damages to the structure and the wall paintings. The collapsed vase and steps increased the weight on the wooden ceiling, resulting in large cracks and instability.

Conservation

The measures taken in the summer campaign of 2016 prepared the building for the necessary conservation of the whole architectural structure. The low stonewalls along the inner passageway were rebuilt as support for the scaffolding, which consists of a wooden platform accessible by a ladder. The condition of the outside of the upper chörten had worsened over the year. Architect Hilde Vets and a local mason discovered deep and large cracks and holes around the vase and on the steps of the west façade. They were reinforced, filled with stones and covered with a coarse mud plaster. Gen. Konchok Motup had the chörten whitewashed during the consecutive campaign of the wall painting restoration.

To prevent further movement of the walls of the painted chamber, the team of architects decided to put up an adjustable ring beam around the base of the chörten. The ring beam was conceived as two wooden beams on each side of the base and fixed together with an adjustable iron connection in the middle. In this way the ring beams were tightened and put under tension. The corners were fixed with corner plates and screws. One ring beam was laid on the ‘platform’ of the gateway, another one was put right beneath the cap. In between the two ring beams, two props were put at each side to support the upper ring beam. While the beams were cut to proper size and the iron connections fixed, there were some repairs done at the outside of the chörten. On the west façade there were major cracks in the cap and the base due to the pressure of the ‘falling’ vase and the according movement of the walls. The cracks were cleaned, stitched and plastered. A team of 2 restorers  cleaned the wall paintings and filled the cracks of the south wall in the painted chamber. The chörten was lime-washed in September 2017.

The team included Dr. Wolfgang Heusgen and Hilde Vets (architects), Heike Pfund and Angela Mitschke (wall painting conservators), Gianmarco Mattiola (master student of architecture), Jigmet Namgyel (AAI office manager), Quentin Dever(aracheologist), intern Stanzin Norboo, restorer, local mason and workers.

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A thorough documentation of the Chorten was carried out to understand its structure, form and legend.

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Installation of a protective wooden frame and brace around the chorten to make it free from stresses.

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The Chorten after emergency conservation and stabilization measures.

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The Chorten has beautiful paintings of very high quality that have been studied in detail by art historian NIls Martin.

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Basic studies of structural stability were also carried out.

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The Nyoma settlement.

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The roof of the Chorten has melted and is known to protect the temple. However it needed stabilization for survival.

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Repairs to the melted spire of the Chorten.