SONA Design Competition 2021

September 03, 2021

SONA Design Competition Award

SONA Design Competition 2021


Spinal Cord Injury Network Nepal (SCINN)

Gokarneshwor Municipality-4, Jagadol, Kathmandu





The Society of Nepalese Architects (SONA) is pleased to announce a social initiative in the form of an architectural design competition that will help in the establishment of a center for differently-abled children as envisioned by the Spinal Cord Injury Network Nepal (SCINN). This facility will be the first of its kind in Nepal and will provide an enabling environment for the children to live, learn and play with dignity and help create an environment to allow them to fully explore their potentials.  This competition will be based on the SONA design competition guidelines that have been developed to ensure the free and fair participation of its members.  It is hoped that all institutions, governmental or otherwise, will follow this standard for procurement of works through design competitions. SCINN has appreciated the fact SONA is taking the initiative to organize the competition and have expressed their interest in awarding the design work directly to the winner or in conjunction with a winner nominated design office with sufficient experience in the field if and when funds are generated for the project.

Spinal Cord Injury Network Nepal is a non-profit non-government organization registered in 2015 by 7 people affected by spinal cord injuries. It is registered in the District Administration Office and the Social Welfare Council. After the dreadful earthquake in Nepal, the team decided to set up a hostel for young children dealing with spinal cord injuries. The team has been running the hostel in a rented house and there are currently 9 boys and 7 girls are living in the hostel while continuing their studies. The current hostel can facilitate up to 16 children and come from various remote parts of Nepal. 


The site has been provided by Gokarneshwor Municipality and incorporated into their master plan of their proposed National Martyrs and Peace Park.  The 2.57 Ropani land situated along the strip of the road has been surveyed without cost by M/s IFID Nepal and is indicative of the challenging nature of this site that runs parallel to the road.  A major aspect of the conceptual design will be in addressing the terrain and drainage-related issues of this site.





Over the years, our society has begun to address the issues of discriminations due to caste, creed, colour, sex, profession as well as physical abilities and is aiming to become a more inclusive one – where all are included and perceived as equals. 

Throughout the world it is being realized that there need not be an exclusive design effort to suit the needs of people with differences. For example, if a door is wide enough to allow passage of wheelchair or crutch users that door is good enough for all persons. Designing therefore should focus on being universal rather than fulfilling separate needs. A single design not only helps in controlling space and expense but also reduces exclusion and promotes inclusion. Simply put, a universal design means there are no differences between people. It integrates and does not differentiate.

This competition focuses on applying these principles of universal design on a very challenging site.  It is hoped this center will serve as an example and help raise the awareness of both designers and society as a whole



To design a children’s center where differently-abled children can interact with each other as well as other members of the society with a dynamic interplay of interior and external spaces

1.     The site and context will be prime generators of design and the positioning of buildings and spaces between them shall need to be sensitively used to enhance the design.

2.     Love, security, continuity in the environment.

3.     Environmental and socio-cultural considerations to be identified and addressed in the design.

4.     Landscape and the surroundings to be made pleasing for the children.

5.     Special Note for this project (applicable to both the children in the current hostel as well as the new intakes:

After their spinal cord injury, the children that have been housed in the current hostel could not continue their studies from their homes and might have been limited to the inside their homes due to the accessibility and the extreme topographical situation of Nepal. They were also in the need of regular medical checkups. Due to the spinal injuries, they have lost complete sense of the lower part of their bodies which made bowel and bladder functions quite difficult. The children face a major problem of bowel & bladder management and should be much careful from a pressure sores.   In addition, everyday activities from learning, playing, and resting need to be addressed thoroughly.  It is hoped that the designers will incorporate these aspects throughout the spaces that have been designed.




Proposed Area- 1307.40 square meters (the site has been surveyed and 3D of the site has been                               generated by IFID Nepal)

Ground Coverage at 40% max


FAR to be taken at 1.5


The center will have office and admin areas with multipurpose and training halls, a residential section and third component that includes a guest house as well as income generating shops along the road.  The center will house 36 children (24 boys and 12 girls) who will have access to the entire facility even without the help of the lift.  The principal planning consideration will need to be focused on the 1:18 ramps for both indoor and outdoor areas. Sensible landscape designing to be used for the benefit of the children. Though the site is severely constrained, car and bike parking areas as well as space for small buses for school pickup and drop should be part of the plan.  The drainage ditch along the road is another area of concern.  The expected output will have to address these challenges in order to link the various spaces together. 


SUBMISSION DEADLINE:                    17:00, 16 OCTOBER 2021






- A design concept notes of 200 words describing the project and intentions.

- Max 6 Nos. A3 sheet of a well presented master plan, all floor plans, 1 section, 2 views,  and a short animation of up to 3 minutes.


-       All entries will be given a certificate of participation.  The three winning entries shall be awarded cash prizes as per the following:

-       1st Prize            –         Rs. 50,000

-       2nd Prize           –         Rs. 30,000

-       3rd Prize           –         Rs. 20,000




Participants are kindly requested to submit all the documents in one pdf and video file at



Details regarding the competition can be downloaded here

CAD Files for the site can be downloaded here. 

Location of the site.