Conservation of Adalat Bhawan, Lalitpur, Nepal

The Adalat Bhawan, also known as the Old Court, is situated in the core of Patan Durbar Square World Heritage Zone in Lalitpur, Kathmandu Valley. Historically the building functioned as a court. Presently it houses the local post office and is used as a storage area.

The architecture of the building is an amalgamation of Colonial and Newari style of architecture with thick load bearing walls, semi-circular arcade on the front façade and pitched roof with terracotta roof tiles. The Adalat Bhawan, a brick in mud masonry structure, has suffered major structural damages after the 2015 Gorkha earthquake.  The poor earthquake resistant behaviour of mud masonry structure, low strength of masonry unit, flooring and roofing system and poor maintenance of the building makes it vulnerable to collapse in the future.

The Adalat Bhawan will be restored as per Nepal’s Ancient Monument Preservation Act, 2013 (1956) and Department of Archaeology’s Basic Guidelines and Manual for conservation and reconstruction of heritage affected by 2015 earthquake (2072). It is proposed to reconstruct the Adalat Bhawan as part of the conservation strategy for the building.  The reconstruction of the building will integrate traditional materials and construction methods while incorporating seismic elements to ensure long term stability of the building.

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