Clients: UNESCO, Ministry of Information and Culture of Afghanistan
Status: Competition (2015)
Location: Bamyan, Afghanistan
Climate: Desert / arid, Hot
Scale: 2.200 ㎡ Medium
Types: Cultural, Cultural center
The project does not talk: it take place in the mountains and in the valley axis, with a calm and quiet determination, like an untouchable monolith stone, open to the landscape. Both buried and arose from the earth, the BBC comes up to the natural ground levels. The proposal originates from a reconsideration of the very essence of Bamiyan – its vernacular language of carved spaces. We have taken this main existing characteristic of Buddhist architecture, to create a lyrical relationship between architecture and landscape, conducive to retreat, contemplation, and exchange. The BCC is a concentration of different issues that can be resolved by taking a more comprehensive approach – What is Culture?
The proposal doesn’t want just to focus on spaces in order to contemplate the visual but create a whole place where people can exchange and test our knowledge. Arrived at the site, visitors gets an overview on the valley and head to the square totally dedicated to the cultural activity. This Parvis is entirely adaptable, providing infinite potential for different program relationships and a changing schedule of needs and activities. This outside space is a refuge, open to society, open to the mountains, open to the sky and Buddha cliff so close. It is possible to stop here, meditate a moment in this place, for free, and for all.
The thick wall, evokes deep and form a lattice of interior voids. The continuous structure is perforated by a changing rhythm of openings, defining a dynamic scale of enclosure and permeability – an endless interior space punctuated by distinct encounters. The project offers only a few large frames on the landscape and a multitude of small openings evoking the world heritage of Bamyan.
The project offers three simultaneously scenarios: A centralized building with a public spine and inner courtyards; different components – exhibition, the house, library, children and public – organized in topographic bands; and a total network of chance encounter, a paradigm of serendipity. If the latest technologies in cultural centers are increasingly defining ‘where to go’ and ‘how to find’ information instantly, we intend to create a building-system that not only fulfills this need, but also provides the opportunity to find – by chance – exhibitions, events, and knowledge, a unique experience of discovery and encounter.
It is not up to us to generate power on the history of Bamyan, with a new talk about what’s happen in this place. This project is in the acceptance. Site acceptance, its plot, its simple geometry becomes timeless. Acceptance of the wind flow. The staging is proof that our time lives with his time. It can coexist with its history. The BCC, is compressed between earth, sky is between the past and future, is exactly in the present and the life.