36-year-old architect Sandeep Bogadhi is on a mission to promote buildings which are made up of natural and locally-sourced materials. He was born in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh and is now settled in Ladakh. He is also the founder of ‘Earthling Ladakh’. Also Read: Chitkan Razi Palace in Kargil to be restored to former glory
Earthling Ladakh has been able to construct eight natural buildings by now which include hotels, boutiques, restaurants and homes, while five are still under construction. Sandeep is also constructing his own home, studio and workshop space in Disket village, Nubra. The architect is also training and employing local Ladakhi masons and other workers for other projects in the region. Also Read: Ladakhi mason who led the construction of airfield in 1961
Bogadhi pursued his studies at the prestigious School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) in New Delhi before entering the profession. Soon he became tired of working in office of various architectural firms in Delhi and Bengaluru. So in 2012, he quit city life. After that he worked for a while in rural Assam. His life took a major turn when in 2013, he got a call from one of his professors from SPA to work on a project in Ladakh.
Bogadhi and his professor had to restore a 100-year-old building and convert it into a boutique hotel in Nimoo village, which lies about 30 km from Leh. They used locally available materials like mud, stone and wood in the Nimoo House project. Most of the material used was collected from near the site.
Once the project was finished, he had to find new work. Unfortunately, during his project in Nimoo, he did not socialized much to find him a couple of more projects. But he does not wanted to go back to city life.So he continued looking for new projects, while working in a rafting company, doing rescue work. Also Read: Ladakhi teacher turns government school into an abode of learning
In 2015, a few residents of Nubra who found his work in Nimoo House approached him and he has hardly been out of work since.
Bogadhi has three local Ladakhi masons who work with him on projects. On occasions, they build some walls mixing rammed earth with some other natural material like wood or stone. He believes that it’s not just about the technique, but also the aesthetic quality.