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Afghanistan National Museum by Matteo Cainer Architects

View from the air.

For decades, even centuries, Afghanistan has been the front line in proxy wars between opposing empires and philosophies. In this context, it is sometimes difficult to remember that the country and region has been the seat of ancient civilisations, learning and culture.

Matteo Cainer Architects has proposed this concrete cube, distorted and shifted from its notional equilibrium suggesting that after even after the ravages of war, the contribution culture has made has survived... protected in what superficially looks like a bunker.

Creating a national museum is a powerful message that the spirit of mankind will not be suppressed, but there is a danger that the architectural expression will invite miss-representation.

The design is ripe with symbolism. The architects have taken their inspiration from the artist Rachel Whiteread who renders negative space visible by casting the void of an enclosure, thus reawakening the memory of an object.

Each of the country's eight significant historic periods is explored in a gallery displaying representative pieces from that period. There are also Quoranic references that infuse the very fabric of the design.

The building, if constructed, will inevitably become a landmark. But more importantly perhaps, it will host debate, and reconciliation as well as an educational programme for people of all ages using traditional and non traditional techniques.

It is an expression of confidence and hope in the country.

View from the other side.

Internal courtyard.

Approach to the museum.

Site plan.

Gratitude to eVolo fro drawing my attention to this proposal.

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DETAIL 6/2020
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