JJs architecture honors bamiyan valley with silent monument proposal JJs architecture honors bamiyan valley with silent monument proposal
mar 05, 2015

JJs architecture honors bamiyan valley with silent monument proposal

JJs architecture honors bamiyan valley with silent monument proposal
all images courtesy of JJs architecture

 

 

 

JJs (joão araújo sousa & joana correia silva) is a portuguese architecture firm and participant in UNESCO‘s 2015 bamiyan cultural centre design competition. now completed, the contest called for proposals to build a cultural center within the bamiyan valley of central afghanistan. the brief given to entrants says the facility is to support artistic and cultural processes, using the institution as a platform to connect the public with afghan traditions and practices. after considering various budget and briefing restraints, JJs decided to focus on creating the concept of a silent monument, unassuming and environmentally integrated.


courtyard

 

 

 

the building sits within a transition area between the plot’s two elevations, with a roof extending the higher ground with an apparently spontaneous and offset geometry. the plan increases outdoor space, while also recreating the landscape that better serves the center’s spatial organization. by doing so unobstructed views of the bamiyan valley and distant buddha cliff are seen from almost every place on the site, further immersing the center into the landscape.

 

interior circulation ring 

 

 

 

based on the importance of courtyards in vernacular culture and architecture, all rooms are arranged around a central atrium with an inner ring connecting each area. it provides generous space well suited to hosting art, archeology, installations and events; as well as orientation within the building. the centralization brings all functions, as well as people, closer together. besides the smaller environmental impact, it creates potential for frequent informal meetings and casual encounters among visitors.


courtyard interior

 

 

 

the landscaping strategy for the center’s gardens is a matrix of pedestrian paths. the plan has strong islamic influence, based on a geometric flower that originates within the central courtyard and radiates outwards. within islamic tradition, water plays an important role. two water reservoirs are placed at the low-and-high limits of the site. water channels connect the two via gravity irrigation. floor vents throughout the building, intercepted by water channels, keep the space cool during summer months. 


exhibition room 1

 

 

 

curved concrete boundary walls improve the ability of the building to withstand seismic events while simultaneously reducing wall thickness. all building façades and external walls are finished with a layer of loam bricks, which completed the local materials requirement of the brief. bricks used for the main structure were fire baked to increase durability, and bricks used for exterior walls were sun-baked, a lower cost option, in order to reduce construction costs


surrounding landscape


section–access ramp


masterplan


1-200 plan 

 

 

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