I am as insignificant as any one of you when it comes to having any stake in the reconstruction of the Dzong with a contribution of just a few thousand Ngultrum, but having seen the disaster firsthand it created a lasting impression on me. I often have nightmares. I see the ruins everyday and everyday I am reminded of that fateful day. Everyday I wonder how the new dzong would be like, everyday I design the new dzong in my head, and everyday I wish if someone could consider my design.lol.
Today, on the first anniversary I would like talk about my wishes for the new Wangdue Dzong. I have seen demolishing work in progress and I have heard of timbers be readied for the construction. I also know many great architects are putting their head together in coming up with the most magnificent design for new dzong. But at the back of my head I am deeply worried they might land up replicating Zhabdrung's design because I know how literally we relate Dzongs to Zhabdrung.
|Wangdue Dzongkha Office after Fire-An Example|
In this light, let's define 21st Century Dzong. It's must be a modern state of art with technology that defines our time. The walls need not be three meters thick anymore because we have no wars to fight now. The southern tower of the Dzong should accommodate a windmill to harvest the enormous power of wind that comes from there. The roof of the dzong should be made of solar panels to harvest solar energy.
The interior of the Dzong should house a theater for any form of art and cultural performance, not restricting to just tshechu. Royal Textile Academy infrastructure in Thimphu is a great example. It should have an international standard conference hall to host any regional and international meetings. The basement should have space for storage and parking, and access road to any part of the dzong, incase of emergencies like the last fire.
As museum is a must in the Dzong with outlet for handicraft sales that can showcase Bhutanese history and art to our people and to the outside world. National Library should find a space in new Wangdue Dzong too.
One pressing question is, should Dzong be housing all the Dzongkhag offices? I recently visited Wangdue Dzongkhag office, which is temporarily set up in Dzongkhag Choekhang, where a huge hall is divided into cubicles. It looked like a international corporate office, fine example of how future Dzongkhag office should be. And it can be outside the Dzong so that security and safety could be maintained easily.
The future Dzong should not waste space like it does now, it should create spaces that will generate revenue to sustain itself for all times to come- like Theater, Museum, Handicraft, Conference Hall, and Library. It should be the most sort-after public space ever seen in Bhutan.
It may take billions of Ngultrum but it's worth investing because Dzong are not built everyday. In building this Dzong we are writing the history of His Majesty the King and people of his time on the face of time. It must be the greatest structure ever built in Bhutan. So much I wish for...