Denchi, Bhutan

The one and half square kilometer zone surrounding the Trashi Chhoe Dzong was declared as special precinct in the new capital city plan. The urban design was prepared to reflect: 1) the symbolic checks and balances between executive, legislative and judiciary branches of governance; 2) the role of the state as represented by his majesty and the je kenpo, or spiritual leader of Bhutan; 3) the place of the people within the symbolic geometry of the complex; 4) the integration of the numerous heritage structures, wang chhu river, surrounding hill and mountain profiles and vast open spaces.

The design uses continuous directional references to the apex of the sacred Utse temple as a unifying factor; symbolic placement of the branches of governance around the icon of the state; inclusion of the people in a vast public domain in the form of a memorial plaza to his late majesty, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.

The vista of eight fold path connects the judiciary to the dzong, and various symbolic gardens link the complex using an auspicious one hundred and eight chortens, auspiciously located within sacred energy zones. Except for vvip movement, essential maintenance, security and physically challenged access, no vehicles can enter the precinct, which is pedestrianized!


LocationDenchi, Bhutan

Built Up Area4810 Square Meters

Site Area6.5 Acres



Royal Government of Bhutan

Prime Contractor



Design Team

Prof. Christopher Benninger, Deepak Kaw, Pankaj Bhagwatkar, Rohan Chavan