Bamiyan Cultural Center

The project proposal for Bamyan Cultural Center presents a new understanding of local construction methods and materials usage, which can result in an innovative design combined with them. The design of the building is made not to be invasive and aims to add volume completely to the existing landscape. This is executed by constructing the volume mostly from bricks made of local materials near the site. The plan of the building resembles a typical Afghanistan village, placed on a steep terrain composed of separate but connected houses simultaneously. Namely, the idea of the “community” and “sharing” is laid down as a main motive in the architectural design. It aims to show the locals that it is not outside of its context but, on the contrary – an attraction centre for the community of Bamyan.

Niches excavated into the brick walls represent a “picture” of the surroundings made from the present location. The niches of Buddha Cliff will be projected on the cultural centre’s surface. The niches will be lit at night, and a whole new picture of niches will shine on the new cultural centre. The building has many skylights, which provide both the entering of natural sunlight and the ventilation of each part. These skylights lead to peculiar inner courtyards between the “village” and the “houses”. They provide a local low vegetation. Wind chimneys are also being integrated, contributing to better room ventilation. The usage of small wind turbines is suggested in the design concept. They will reference the local construction methods used by people hundreds of years ago.