Studio Apartment : A new concept in Nepal


Kathmandu metro politan city is the hub for careers and businesses. With the establishment of numerous national and international non-governmental organisations as well as multi-national companies, expatriate housing needs was and is on the rise. Hence, studio apartments emerged mainly to cater to the foreigners, as it mostly appealed to them.

Studio apartments are economically utilised accommodation, usually for one or two persons. It is a hall that encompasses a bedroom, a study, an open kitchen and a bathroom without any partitions and walls except for the bathroom. Finding space in the capital can be a perpetual task for an individual -too big, too small or too many rooms. Hence, studio apartments are ideal for people living alone, since it suits the needs of an individual.

Studio apartments are cheaper. Using little space, they also have lower utility bills as much electricity is not required. One does not have to look for room mates and privacy is guaranteed.

However, the little and limited spacing is its major drawback. It could get congested and messy, and entertaining guests could pose serious challenges. Lack of storage space and the open kitchen (without proper ventilation) could be a major problem too.

Nonetheless, Japanese and Europeans opt for these types of apartments for its cost-effectiveness and convenience. The apartments available are usually fur nished and bills for basic utilities are taken care of. Himalayan apartments have 11 apartments, out of which seven are studio apartments.

The costs for these apartments vary from USD 650 (single bed) to USD 800 (double beds) a month."This year, due to growth in IT sector and expansion in telecommunication companies, Chinese and Indian customers have increased and thus demand for studio apartments has increased," says Dipendra Shakya, pro prietor of Himalayan Apartments. Some other apartments catering to foreigners are Mandala House and Shalimar Apartments.

Housing and apartment developers, considering the increasing local migration and the zeal for an independent life among the new generation have already started projects of studio apartments, a concept still alien to most Nepalis. "But this trend will surely gain momentum due to its practicality and low economic costs," says Ashish Garg, director at Clean Developers. Oriental Developers, Mero City, Down Town Housing and Guna Housing are some of the developers whose studio apartment projects are underway.

Ranging from Rs 1.5 million to Rs 2.5 million, these studio apartments will soon be available to interested customers. The targeted customers are the local migrant population and students from in or outside the valley. Although limited in space and fairly a new concept in Nepal, developers are confident that studio apartments will thrive in Kathmandu.

"The over populated city cannot support and accommodate the increasing local migration. Thus, the necessity will automatically create demands for economic housing," says Garg.

People in Nepal have strong traditional values.They live in joint families with people and relatives around them. They have unlimited space to their dispos al; and prayer rooms, kitchen, dining room or family room are basics for a Nepali home. Are Nepalis prepared for a transformation in their lifestyle?

To make Nepalis accustomed to studio apartments, Oriental Developers have customised their studio apartments. "Studio apartments available at Oriental Homes will have partitioned and walled rooms, unlike a typical studio apartment.
They will have a single bedroom or two bedrooms, a closed kitchen, a small lobby and a bathroom," says Sudhir Basnyat, chairman at Oriental Developers. This consideration has been made keeping the Nepali lifestyle in mind. "Unlike foreigners, Nepalis spend more time in the kitchen preparing food. Thus, an open kitchen is impractical for Nepalis," says Basnyat.

Living in a studio apartment may be practical and economical, especially in the present day and age when market prices are skyrocketing, but with such strong and deep rooted traditions and customs, it may be several years before Nepalis make the transition to a different lifestyle.

source: THT