Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law Library

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Bhutan has embarked on an ambitious project to build a campus for the first law school in the country. Presided over by Princess Dechen Wangchuck, the Jigme Singye Wangchuck School of Law campus is located in the dramatic slopes of the eastern Himalayan mountains, overlooking the Paro Valley. Holst’s involvement with the project began as sustainability consultants before our role expanded to include the design of the Law Library.

For the law library, Holst has worked with a diverse team of architects, engineers, and craftspeople to combine traditional Bhutanese artisanship with modern, sustainable design techniques. The building’s height takes advantage of the beautiful views across the valley while the compact footprint reduces energy consumption and construction costs. Other sustainability measures include custom insulated glazing units produced by a Bhutanese craftsman, radiant heating, and a simple roof truss system that protects insulation and decreases roof weight.

This project artfully layers traditional Bhutanese architecture with contemporary high-performance building strategies. It sets a new precedent for Bhutan, on display for the many future leaders that will pass through the School of Law.

Cultural Overlay

The building is a thoughtful combination of traditional aesthetics, materials, and methods with modern global design approaches to sustainability.

Textile Gallery

The ground floor entry sequence includes a textile gallery that celebrates Bhutan’s rich textile tradition and will feature newly-commissioned works by contemporary Bhutanese artists.

Reading Room

The second floor houses the heart of the building – a double-height reading room, study rooms, collaborative spaces, and stacks.