Carl Pruscha, an Austrian architect who mainly dedicated his professional career to investigate and work closely in the field of regional architecture in the eastern world, a territory that was being overlooked at a time when the modern movement in architecture and in the rest of the world was booming. Through an overview of his life, we will highlight some of his most relevant works in Nepal and Sri Lanka and understand how Pruscha managed to stamp his unique visions of architecture and cities into his built projects.
The Taragaon Hostel was commissioned by the Nepal Women’s Association, in order to build a guest accommodation for Western artists, writers, and scholars that were visiting Nepal. Now known as the Taragaon Museum, the complex was planned as if it were more of an urban project rather than an individual building. It is a modern barrel-vaulted complex of brick-and-glass structures with clear references to Kathmandu’s indigenous Newar architecture of traditional Buddhist monastic cells called dharmshalas.
Pruscha was later invited by the Getty Institute in Los Angeles as Research Scholar and was the Head of Studio for Habitat, Environment, and Conservation. While combining researcher studies with the development of architectural projects, he continued working with his team on the delivery of a number of buildings around the world. Years later, he also completed two additional projects, a hotel, and a school, for the “One World Foundation” (OWF) in Sri Lanka. The purpose of the OWF was to develop educational projects, through funding with sustainable tourism.