Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Bamiyan Cultural Centre in Afghanistan by Formosis building studio
March 13th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Formosis building studio
Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic Era, and the country’s strategic location along the Silk Road connected it to the cultures of the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia. Through the ages the land has been home to various peoples and witnessed many military campaigns, notably by Alexander the Great, Arab Muslims, Genghis Khan, and in the modern-era by Western powers. The land also served as a source from which the Kushans, Hephthalites, Samanids, Ghaznavids, Ghorids, Khiljis, Mughals, Durranis, and others have risen to form major empires.
Bamiyan, located at central Afghanistan was the site of an early Hindu–Buddhist monastery from which Bamyan takes its name (Sanskrit varmayana, \”coloured\”). Bamyan’s name is translated as ‘The Place of Shining Light’. Many statues of Buddha are carved into the sides of cliffs facing Bamyan city. The Bamiyan valley marked the most westerly point of Buddhist expansion and was a crucial hub of trade for much of the second millennium CE. It was a place where East met West and its archaeology reveals a blend of Greek, Turkish, Persian, Chinese and Indian influence.
In 2001, the famous statues of Buddha stood for thousand years were demolished. UNESCO and the Ministry of Information and Culture of Afghanistan, with the generous financial support of the Republic of Korea, are implementing a project to build the Bamiyan Cultural Centre. The Centre will be located near the boundary of the World Heritage property, the Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley. The purpose of the project is to promote heritage safe-guarding and cross-cultural awareness, and thereby contribute to the broader aims of reconciliation, peace-building and economic development in the country.
The renowned architectural firm Formosis building studio has proposed the design for Bamiyan Cultural centre inspired by the history and heritage of the site. The design smoothly blends the historic demand and functional necessity of the project. The architect says, \”The culture of Bamiyan has been strongly influenced by Buddhist and Islamic cultures. So, we tried to blend these two cultures and create a common place for all. A simple design which will stand strong and relate people to the past glory of Bamiyan and lead to the future. We have used three simple forms of architecture to relate these thoughts: Wall, as an expressive canvas; Circle, from Buddhist sacred place stupa; and Square, from the Islamic sacred place Ka’ba\”.
The Bamiyan Cultural Centre will be a cornerstone in efforts to preserve culture, promote research and build community around culture, in order to build cohesion in a fractured cultural context. The Centre will provide space for archaeological and ethnographic artifacts from across the country and serve as a multi-purpose state-of-the art cultural complex and research facility. The building will provide adaptable space that can be used for variety of culture-related purposes, ultimately benefiting many stakeholders across a wide demographic.
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Category: Cultural Center