A cultural center has a unique opportunity to bring people of diverse backgrounds together to appreciate a culture. For this proposal we bring together the rich culture of the Bamiyan people of Afghanistan in one complete composition that embraces the culture, the landscape and the core beliefs all humans share, in physical form.
One human standing on this earth can change the world.
Together, we can change everything for the better of all.
This is the tenth of 24 individual articles that explain each component of our proposal for the Bamiyan Cultural Centre international competition. Be sure to subscribe in order to see all articles and get a glimpse into the thinking that goes into each project we do.
Bamiyan Cultural Centre
This proposal is about these people and their culture…
First, we acknowledge the place which allowed the culture of these people to develop, a valley of green with it’s built structures pushed to the sides and onto the slopes to preserve this fertile green oasis which has it’s sustaining power. Thus our proposal positions it’s buildings on the slopes of the site as it exists and therefore not only shows respect but acts as a reminder of the lessons of the past, to preserve the fertile flatland, both for it’s usefulness but also to preserve it’s beauty. It is the striking contrast of the valley and surrounding hills and mountains that makes this region truly a special place on earth and as such our composition seeks to do the same.
Further, we acknowledge the Architectural history by creating a complex that both echoes the practical aesthetic of the local vernacular employing similar construction methods (mass walls, parapets and water collection and punched openings) but raises it to a level appropriate for a cultural center for this specific area, so the people of this region can embrace it as their own and share a seance of pride as their accomplishment.
Second, we acknowledge this region as a trading route, embracing people from other cultures, thus our proposal reaches out with ‘fingers’ to welcome people’s of all backgrounds.These lines in the proposed landscape are the fingers of hands reaching out to people of all backgrounds in a welcoming gesture, to bring people together for the common good and with an eye towards an appreciation of all of humanity, one connection at a time. Third, we acknowledge the people of this region, who have toiled for centuries to make their world and their life, thus our proposal surrounds the core of our composition with wire figure statues, of people coming together in a circle to make this project happen, to reflect on the past, to embrace the future. Further, over-scaled bas-reliefs etchings of local residents, especially young individuals, will adorn the exterior wall of the auditorium, to remind people that this place was built by locals for the future of their people. This acknowledgment of the people is a reflection of ‘people coming together to make this great project a reality.
When I said “This proposal is about these people and their culture…” at the beginning of this article, what I mean is, it is not appropriate to build an edifice that reflects some western sensibility, but instead to solidly and with pride reaffirm the culture of the Bamiyan people, for this is a cultural center of their culture and not a center for another culture. I only hope (at the time this post was written the results of the competition are not known) that the jury understands the ramifications of this statement and embraces this notion for whatever project they choose to represent the Bamiyan Afghan culture. ~NBuccalo
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