Richard Belho, an architect by profession, is a recipient of Bamboo Pioneer Award from World Bamboo Organisation, Naturenomics Award from Balipara Foundation and Young Designer Award from Indian Architect and Builders Magazine. He is also the founder of Zynorique Initiatives, an architecture firm based in Kohima, Nagaland.


Zynorique started in April 2002 by Richard and Associate Architect, Kezhagwetuo Peseyie after Richard returned to Nagaland from Bangalore in 2002 in the hope to create work culture among the younger generation. Zynorique, as of now is a unique organization which came forward in taking the first step to make a change for the unemployed youths by providing skill development in partnership with the Government of Nagaland.


A brief profile of Richard Belho


* Schooling from Holy Cross School, Dimapur. ·
* Attended St. Anthony’s College, Shillong for PU Science, ·
* Graduated in Bachelor of Architecture from BMS College, Bangalore in 1999.
* During college days, he served as Vice President for National Association of Students of Architecture (from 1997 to 1998).


1999 – Worked as Trainee Architect on Eco-Friendly Architecture under Architect Chitra K. Vishwanath on construction with SMB(Stabilized Mud Blocks), Jack Arch Roofings with Hollow Clay Tiles, Rain Water Harvesting System etc.


2000 – 2002, Worked with AMBISAN & ASSOCIATES under Architect Arjun Unnikrishnan. During this period, worked extensively on IT related constructions and Building Interiors for Software firms, Hindustan Lever Limited. Etc


April 2002 till PRESENT – Zynorique (pronounced as zai-no-reek) was started by Architect Richard Belho and Associate Architect Kezhagwetuo (Ato) Peseyie. At present, Zynorique Consultant has 4 Architects and 3 Civil Engineers and are actively engaged in various Governmental Projects as Architectural Consultants.


2003 – Started Zynorique Initiatives Society for providing capacity building and training to local youths for Self Employment within the State. Worked with Nagaland Bamboo Development Agency, DUDA, Urban Development Department, Labour Department and Employment, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Dept.


Notable activities
* Development of Agri Expo·
* Bamboo Pavilion Kisama·
* Year of Construction Worker training·
* Development of Anghya outlets and Branding in Eastern Nagaland·
* Development and launching of Mongken Apparel and lifestyle brand with DUDA·
* Mobile Skill Morung with Employment Department ·
* NBOCW trainings with Labour Department


2015 – The Green Caravan for organic farming and market linkages. Conducted Amazon Saheli workshop in Kohima. Assisted KMC in home delivery during Covid Pandemic lockdown by coordinating with NSRLM and providing link from Villages to Kohima town. Now The Green Caravan is assigned under MOVCDNER by Agri Department for establishing 10 FPCs in Nagaland.


Speaking to Mokokchung Times, Richard shared his views on the topics such as bamboo and its benefits, organic farming and market linkage strategies for agro-based products.


Zynorique Initiative has been significantly involved in the use of bamboo such as in the Hornbill Festival or Agri Expo where they monitor the design and construction.


Richard is the man behind the construction of Bamboo Pavilion at Naga Heritage Village, Kisama; Traffic Control Booth at Kisama; Wayside amenities in all districts; Gazebos in all district headquarters; Bamboo Cottage in NBRC; North-East Stall at NE-Agro Expo Site, Dimapur and many more. He has also been instrumental in many Research and Development activities and trainings related to bamboo handicraft items like bamboo toys, bamboo jewellery items, cold press roofing system and many more.


According to Richard, Nagaland has more than 46 species of bamboo of which 28 are endemic in the region while structural bamboo species such as Bambusa balcooa available in the state are the strongest throughout the country and should be used for construction purposes.


Richard, who believes that bamboo is the material of the future, explained how climate change have been taking place and with Nagaland in the highest Earthquake Zone V continues to build high rise buildings without proper quality control.


“People are talking about future material of certain steel glass, concrete and all but when economic depression and calamities hits any area, you will have no material to use for restoring or building the community but to rely only on whatever natural resources are available to us,” Richard said.


“I understand people are concerned about fire and its longevity when it comes to Bamboo but bamboo is a resilient material. Bamboo being a natural material can last for more than 2000 years.


The only problem with bamboo is it deteriorates when it gets exposed to sunlight and rain but unlike RCC, bamboos are replaceable. We can always replace the infected members,” he added.


He further informed that since the kilning temperature of bamboo is much higher than wood, bamboo is much safer than wood. He advised people to apply mud-plaster over it in case of fire concerns as mud doesn’t catch fire.


According to him, bamboo houses when designed properly has a unique charm and offers more safety during earthquakes.

(This is the first of a two-part series)

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