Entering into a building is usually a defined moment, a sudden change or a really short transition of open/closed situation made possible by a physical limit like a door, a wall or a passage.

The purpose of the design is to reinterpret in shape and function the traditional local typology of the courtyard in order to create a sequence of open and closed spaces with different levels of intimacy and interaction with the surrounding landscape. The accessibility to the area and the presence of collectivity places are fundamental features to transform the museum into a lively cultural institution and an important meeting point for all the inhabitants of the valley.

The design concept starts from a circle drawn inside a square. All the project is inside these basic geometric figures. The circle defines the internal courtyard, an immediately recognizable typology presented in a giant scale; the square is instead the outside filter that defines the limits of the plane roof and permits a gradual and different interaction between interior and exterior, controlling the light and giving at the same time four equal facades to a building that has no front and no rear. In this way only the context defines the position of the functions, entirely placed on the upper part of the plot.

The idea of a cultural center in Afghanistan is the opportunity to offer the local people a new relationship with a public building, starting from the construction of it. The main material used in the project is in fact concrete, masonry and wood. In this way it is possible to involve local people, creating employment and reducing the energy necessary for production and transportation, trying also to establish from the first moment a strong identity connecting Bamiyan residents and the place that should represent them.


architect: Studio Memento  |  clients: UNESCO, Ministry of Information and Culture of Afghanistan  |  status: Competition (2015)  |  competition: Bamiyan Cultural Center  |  location: Bamyan, Afghanistan (34.822108, 67.825320)  |  climate: Desert / arid, Hot  |  material: concrete  |  environments: Desert, Urban  |  visualizer: Studio  |  scale: 2.200 m2 medium  |  types: cultural, museum  |  views: 2.701

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