Bamiyan, Afghanistan

cultural center

credits: Alexandru Muntean | Olivia Monoranu |

David Stancu  

The competition was organized by UNESCO, Afghanistan Government and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Korea. We propose a project that revolves around the idea of soil, earth and the physical concept that arises from this. We don’t just propose a building but we also propose a landscape in which the buildingd is embedded. The project is organised as a series of pavilions that are connected by a rich landscape and a corridor that carves through the earth. From afar our project seems to be an old fortress sitting on top of a hill and overlooking the valley.


We have a total of six pavilions deeply connected to the site and the landscape of the valley. The top platform contains the Administration Building, the Exhibition Spaces and Research Pavilions. On an intermediary level sits the Performance Hall and down on the lower platform the sequence finishes with the Workshops and Classes. These pavilions are independent but gathered and connected naturally by the terrain and architecturally by an open, semi-covered passage placed on the east side. The passage runs in a North-South direction with a chain of ramps to allow free flow and sheltered circulation. The ramps are vital for the connection of the buildings and the circulation of the users through the different levels.


The materials used in the project arise from the area and will be used according to local and old techniques. We use rammed earth for the landscape’s walls and quilted bricks for the buldings. The techniques employed in the building of the pavilions are very common and have been used for many centuries in Afghanistan. Concrete beams and columns are part of the structure to ensure safety in case of natural disasters.

View from Buddha Cliff

Main entrance view

North axonometric view

View from Buddha Cliff