Bamiyan Gateway Museum

The recent conflicts that affected the Bamiyan region from Afghanistan inspired UNESCO to commence the procedures for building a cultural center that would help preserve the area`s identity and cultural richness.

Afghanistan’s uniqueness arises form it’s multiethnic population, a multicultural mosaic that composes a complex cultural identity fabric. The cross-cultural clash was what cultivated conflicts throughout the country’s history, but it’s also what makes it an interesting starting point in developing solutions for a world – wide problem like interculturality. To that end, we believe Bamiyan would represent the perfect location for a symbol of cross-cultural communication, a platform for cultural and ethnical exchange.

Our main concern in designing Bamiyan Cultural Center was understanding the area’s primary needs- practicality and functionality – and providing an authentic and engaging design solution that would stay true to the location’s attributes  with a focus on the cultural heritage and identity of the local community.

The center will also help to make the Afghan culture visible on a global scale and connect its society to the global realities. Therefore, Bamiyan  could become not only a “Gate to India”, but a “Gate to Knowledge “.

We developed a building that celebrates multiculturality by surprising the active process of exchange of information. The building seen in diagonal represents a passage or a gateway symbolizing that unique moment in time when someone is in the process of learning. We developed a fluid, light and organic shape inspired by local architecture.

For the façade we decided to use local materials – straws and mud – and also recycled ones, such as aluminum cans and standard 2L plastic bottles. This innovative system  will ensure important energy savings , but, at the same time,  will mobilize people all over the world to contribute to the creation of this cultural center.


Bamiyan - Afghanistan