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The Built Culture > All Posts > Interviews > SONA Council of Presidents > Talk with one of the Pioneers of Contemporary Architecture in Nepal: Ar. Matsyendra Lal Kayastha

Talk with one of the Pioneers of Contemporary Architecture in Nepal: Ar. Matsyendra Lal Kayastha

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tbculture 06 May 2022

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Ar. Matsyendra Lal Kaystha


For the last four decades, the firm has been working full time with Experienced and Qualified Architects, Engineers, Designers, and Technical Manpower, Equipment, and Office Facilities. The firm has been dedicated to the development of Nepal through Architectural and Engineering Services. Over the years, the firm has had numerous opportunities to work with various Departments of the Government of Nepal, Tribhuvan and Mahendra Sanskrit Universities, USAID, UNDP, The World Bank and Asian Development Bank, NABIL Bank, British Embassy, KathmanduMetropolitan City Office, Corporations, Paropakar Maternity Hospital, B & B Hospital, NGOs, INGOs and other private agencies, after being selected through pre-qualification of consultants, technical proposals and design competitions.

His journey to being an architect started with a scholarship opportunity, “I was asked to name the famous architect behind Chandigarh’s planning, I promised them that I would be like him though I had no idea who he was”. He laughs and explains how he got into the University.

Architecture is to create art for people’s use and is a basic necessity. Following the principle of Vitruvius, “Utility, Strength and Beauty” Mr. Kayastha and the team have designed more than 100 buildings. To practice architecture, one must be willing to learn lifelong. Every new project comes with a new set of challenges and demands time. The identity of each project has to be unique and different. Hence, you need to be innovative. Coordination is required, no matter how good the design is and we need the support of other technical fields like civil engineers, electrical engineers, etc.

He smiles, “I am more than happy to be an architect and to be able to have a good income with it as a pioneer of contemporary architecture here in Nepal. Strolling around the Kathmandu Valley makes me happy as I see the buildings we have built over the years. It is more than satisfying.”

Success isn’t defined by hard work solely. Luck has to be acknowledged and oppotunities have to be grabbed at the right time alongside knowledge and creative sense. Having said this, Mr. Kayastha expresses his gratefulness to his lovely wife who elegantly handles and leads the firm till today while claiming himself to be lesser involved in architecture as of now.

SONA was formed with a purpose- to introduce architecture and to bring architects together. He strongly suggests we should have standard fees for various architecture projects and introduce as well as amend laws to protect the profession. Low pay for work that architects do lead to unhealthy practices. We should all work together to grow the field of architecture and make people aware of it.

(Based on an interview with Ar. Angel Shrestha)

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