BHUTAN  1987-1998

Chris worked and lived with his family for 10 years in Bhutan – a very special country in the Himalayas, the only nation whose entire policy is genuinely based on sustainable development. The 4th king Jigme Singye Wangchuk made the simple but profoundly wise statement “Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross National Product” – and GNH is now being talked about all over the world.

Chris designed projects including schools and a hospital as architect and project coordinator, and also worked as researcher at the National Library, doing translations from Tibetan and publishing a book on Bhutanese religious history. Together with Tom and Nada Derksen and Lhendup Tshering he also founded and funded the first ever preschool in Bhutan, the Little Dragons Montessori Preschool.

Scroll down for a summary. For Bhutan architecture projects see here, for publications see here; for images of life in Bhutan see the Bhutan gallery here.


–Punakha District Hospital. Chris’ design was later copied for 2 more hospitals (Mongar and Trashiyangtse)

–UNICEF Primary Schools at Uzorong and Thangrong. The design was later adapted for ca 30 other schools.

–Culture Centre Master Plan in Thimphu. Concept development with the SCCA.

–Gidakom Hospital master plan and new extension

–FAO Rural Markets facilities in Wangdi, Mongar and Trongsa

–Staff housing for the Netherlands SNV organization

–Solar Greenhouse for Sherubtse College, Kanglung

–Residential designs for various clients


TRANSLATIONS: (from Tibetan, with Khenpo Phuntshog Tashi)

–Kathang Duepa –  the short biography of Guru Rinpoche

–Lhasetsangma – the history of Prince Lhasetsangma and East Bhutan by Wagindra, 1728

–The Eight Kinds of Chhorten – by Jetsun Taranatha

–Namthar of Terton Padma Lingpa – by Padma Tshewang, Lopen Pemala

–Explanation of the 3 Dimensional Chhorten at Yerpa – by Lama Nyingkhula

–A Brief Introduction to the Demchog Mandala in Tashichhodzong – by Tenzin Dhondup


PUBLICATIONS: (mostly with Khenpo Phuntshog Tashi)

1989.Dharma.Education+Ecology Kuensel Thimphu.jpg
1989.Dharma.Energy+Development Kuensel, Thimphu.jpg
1989.Environment West and East.Philos.Butters-Kuensel, Thimphu..jpg
1990.Child as Seen in Buddhism.Tashi+Butters.Kuensel, Thimphu.jpg
1992.Lhasetsangma.Namthar.Butters+Tashi (499×640).jpg
1993.Ka Thang Duepa. CB+KPT Bhutan.JPG
1994.The Eight Kinds of Chorten.Butters+Tashi, Thimphu.150.jpg
1995.Demchog Mandala transl.jpg
1996.The Child as Seen in Buddhism.Tashi+Butters.Thimphu.pdf
1997.Bray+Butters text Ladakh paper Aarhus Univ Press.docx
1997.Ladakh cover word.docx
1997.Ladakh paper, Bray+Butters 1997.Aarhus UP.pdf
1997.The Child as Seen in Buddhism. Tashi+Butters.1996-97 TDcover150.jpg
1997.The Yerpa Chhorten, Punakha.CB+KPTb.jpg
1997.U med script and Vajra verses.jpg
1999.Ladakh.Bray+Butters ASarhus UP.JPG
2002.The Punakha Hospital, Bhutan. by Chris Butters.pdf