Attic antics

I went on a fieldtrip today. I went to Thimphu town. Almost every building has an attic. And almost every attic violates Thimphu’s building regulations.

Because they were illegal, earlier attics are discrete. Their builders went to great lengths to hide their attics, to make them look uninhabited.

But because the first attics were not questioned, latter attics have become increasingly bold. Some are quite beautiful. All are displayed fearlessly. And some attics sport attics – doubled storied attics.

Thimphu’s building regulations continue to forbid building attics for habitation. And Thimphu’s builders continue to build more attics for habitation. According to TCC, 160 buildings have “habited attics”. I think this is an understatement. Go at night and you’ll see almost every attic alight – a sure sign of human habitation.

The problem is obvious: Thimphu’s attics are dangerous. They have poor lighting, ventilation and inadequate space. And they may not be structurally safe.

The solution is clear: legalize attics. In fact, require them. They can be quite beautiful – our traditional attics are. And well constructed attics would go a long way to address Thimphu’s growing housing shortage.

We’re building our nation. Let’s build it right. And build it well.

Hidden attic

Fortified attic

Discrete attic

Attic getting bolder

VAST attic

Attic on attic?

Attic on attic!

Beautiful attics

Double storied attic

Brand new attic

New beautiful attic

Attic on attic on attic?

Spot the house without an attic!