Bamiyan Cultural Center

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The new cultural center is conceived as an iconic landmark of bold presence, a contemporary acropolis for Bamiyan Valley, yet of conscious sensitivity towards the significance of the site, the importance of its program’s cohesiveness and articulation, the tactile indulgence and towards the spatial architectural qualities.

  

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A strong conceptual gesture creates an urban environment within a condensed form, one that encloses life and endorses it. A network of bright interior streets and terraces unfolds along the modified slope of the site around detached volumes under a continuous tilted roof, thus physically connecting and equally activating the two different levels of the site.

  

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In between, interior spaces offer a unique atmospheric experience, various conditions for contemplation and reflection as well as for joint activities and socializing, always maintaining an immediate relationship between the interior and the exterior, integrating views of the Valley.

  

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The clear gesture of the tilted roof defines at once the buildings volumetric in the purest way. In the interior it offers a visual connection from the highest to the lowest levels being able to perceive the center’s vibrant presence at once.  Its orientation towards northeast maximizes the amount of incoming sunlight from the roof while avoiding overheating during the hot summer months. The concrete roof waffle structure that spans across the width of the building is used to hold an array of solar panels on the roof, creating a patchwork of skylights and panels amongst the exposed structural elements.

  

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The interior terrain level surface is a light tone concrete finish in conceptual and tactile contrast with the naturally colored cast in place concrete of the shell that rests on it, the structural elements and the interior blocks. Following the ramping public terrain towards the bottom of the route one can discover areas for private concentration, viewing points towards the Valley or spontaneous moments for casual encounters.


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Transforming hallways to active everyday spaces also allows for spaces to open and close, merging both communal and private areas into hybrid spaces that can offer alternative experiences promoting social interaction and communality, using the institution as a platform to connect people, cultural traditions and practices.

  

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Architect: LoT
Project Team: LoT: Leonidas Trampoukis, Xin Jin
Renderings: LoT
Commissioner: UNESCO, Ministry of Information and Culture of Afghanistan, the Republic of Korea
Total Built Area: 2419. 7 m²
Project Year: 2014 – ’15
Status: Competition Entry