Bamiyan Cultural Centre


Site location: Bamiyan, Afghanistan

Gross floor area: 2220,50 sqm

Design date: 11/2014-01/2015

Project status: International Arch. Competition Entry   Design: Vangelis Lantavos, Dionysis Gonatas


The competition was co-organized by UNESCO the Afghan Ministry of Culture with the financial support of the Republic of Korea and attracted the astonishing number of 1070 submissions from 117 countries.

As starting point for the building's position, a line is taken in parallel to the linearity defined by Buddha Cliffs, the nearby Foladi river and road.

The building could be considered a landmark, not for its morphological preferences, but mainly for the social contribution that the project is asked to deliver, in this part of the world. Our aim, is this to become a beacon of culture, as well as a reconnection hub of modern society with the historic periods the present and the future. At the same time an honest approach was attempted to include morphological characteristics of local vernacular architecture, such as the integration of internal courtyards.

We decided to place the building on the highest land point, for functional and efficiency reasons, such as easy and direct accessibility. Furthermore, having limited the construction to ground level, we benefited from the absence of stairwells and lifts.

The exposed rough concrete wall on south-east side, constitutes the boundary of the entrance, behind which all the buildings installations develop and defines the main movement axis between the spaces. The building is divided into areas of different functions, arranged around protected internal courtyards. These open spaces act as relaxation and stress release stations, while can accommodate outdoor events, when weather is permitting.

The use of different roof types, plays a central role in the buildings volumetric morphology, dominated by the performance hall dome.

Extensive use of glazing on the north-west side, visually connects interior space with surrounding landscape, providing uninterrupted views to Bamiyan valley and Buddha Cliffs. Especially, the use of sliding glass panels in the performance hall can achieve unification with the external amphitheater, increasing spectator capacity.

Artificial ponds created on the entrance side landscape, set the boundaries and differentiate zones of pedestrian and vehicle movement.

Concluding, the lower part of the site will accommodate future expansions, while at present will be arranged into landscaped gardens. txt/gr


Also view our competition boards on UNESCO website

(c) 2021 by Lantavos Projects, All Rights Reserved

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