Zalok-pa House

Zalok-pa elevation by Yutaka Hirako
Zalok-pa house after intervention with view of Leh palace in the back.
Ms Tsering Dolkar and her mother in the balcony of Zalok-pa house.
Zalok-pa house is located in Zangsti district where in the past a major settlement of craftsman and traders were located. This area, on the border of the west end of Leh old town and the new city is prone to fast development and change, due to its location close to roads and on flat land. There are only very few traditional Ladakhi houses left in this area.

Zalok-pa house is one of them. In 2012 the owner of the house, Ms Tsering Dolkar approach THF/LOTI and asked help to repair her house and improve the layout to make it into a shop or restaurant that could help the family to make some income. We saw this as an opportunity to save this traditional building from being demolished and replaced by concrete like some of the buildings in the same street.

Together with the house owner we developed the renovation plan and started the repair work by removing the roof and floor structure while keeping the original building façades intact. The original layout of the ground floor consisted of four small rooms, which were partitioned for different domestic animals and for use as granaries. We rearranged the space into two rooms, a bedroom and living room for the family.

The first floor small rooms were made into one single room space. A local style dry toilet was built in the corner and a skylight opening was kept above the kitchen space.

On the rooftop we built a gallery called Yaps, and designed a Rabsel terrace. This additional structure provides shade on the rooftop and frames a lovely view of the Leh palace.

We paved the floor with slate stones and enclosed the building edges with a parapet and fixed wooden railing around the staircase resulting in a cozy rooftop terrace which added a new charm to the building façade.

Zalok-pa house was successfully repaired and handed over to Ms Tsering
Dolkar, she was very happy and excited with her new business challenge.

The location is excellent and the view from the top roof of the Leh Palace makes it an ideal place for a cup of tea.

Project co-financed by BMZ and the house owner.
Copyright, Tibet Heritage Fund