In 2001, the Taliban blew up a monumental pair of Buddha statues carved into the cliffs in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. The Buddhas were cultural marvels created in the sixth century, and had been on the UNESCO World Heritage Site for decades; it was a devastating loss for the country. Last December, UNESCO launched a competition for a cultural center in the Bamiyan Valley, near the site where the Buddhas used to loom, as a way to "challenge cultural barriers and reaffirm Afghanistan's remarkable ancient history." The just-announced winner of the competition is an Argentine team led by Carlos Nahuel Recabarren, whose work was singled out from 1,070 entries.
Recabarren's design for the Bamiyan Cultural Center, entitled "Descriptive Memory: The Eternal Presence of Absence" will include a meeting place with public exhibition areas and research and educational activities. The low-slung building will be carved out of the ground. The architects write: "This primordial architectural strategy creates a minimal impact building that fully integrates into the landscape, takes advantage of thermal inertia and insulation of the ground and gives a nod to the ancient local building traditions."
· UNESCO Reveals Winning Scheme For The Bamiyan Cultural Centre In Afghanistan [Arch Daily]
· All Rendering Reveals posts [Curbed National]