19.06.2017 - UNESCO Office in Kabul

Bamiyan Cultural Centre’s Phase II construction work begins

Bamiyan Cultural Centre Construction Site ©UNESCO|Ghulam Reza Mohammadi

15 June 2017 | UNESCO Office in Afghanistan—Construction works for the second phase of the Bamiyan Cultural Centre has been launched. The second phase, which will create an educational building that will house community workshops, embodies the hopes of the people of Afghanistan for increased community integration through culture. The contract for the works was awarded to an Afghan company after an open international two-stage bidding process.

Along with the first phase of the project, which will deliver two exhibition halls, an auditorium and a tea house, the second phase will provide spaces for training workshops, and community-based activities centered on the creative economy. With the first phase of the construction on track, the second phase started in June 2017, and is scheduled to be finished before winter next year.  Nahuel Recabarren, one of the design architects, addressed his high expectations on the completion of the complex, “We are starting to have a sense of how the Cultural Centre will fit its surroundings and of how the geometry and scale of the interior spaces will feel like. The building is coming together quite nicely, thanks to the effort of the construction team.”

The authors of the design, M2R Arquitectos, are tasked with the supervision of the construction while UNESCO has its own team in charge of construction management and quality control. As of June 2017, the excavation works and the setting of the phase 2 building have been completed and work on the foundations and structure is about to begin. For the Phase I main building, most of the structural works have been finalized and masonry works are now under way.

 The short outdoor working season in Bamiyan, compounded with the slowdown of activities during the Holy Month of Ramadan, make construction work very challenging.  In this demanding context, all efforts are being made to ensure the safety of workers on the site, with daily safety checks, weekly briefings and monthly safety assessments. “The construction work has not had a single safety incident until now,” added Ahmad Hamed Samadi, UNESCO quality control manager. “Ensuring a safe working environment for the workers is important as it enables the workers to be involved without constantly worrying about safety in a construction zone. The workers are local and have a personal pride towards the centre, which will contribute to the cultural and creative economy of the community.”

 The Bamiyan Cultural Centre is a project implemented by UNESCO, with the generous financial support of the Korean Government. As a response to the Korean Government’s devotion to peace-building, mediation, tolerance and intercultural dialogue through the Bamiyan Cultural Centre, the Afghan Government has also committed USD 1.5 million to the project for the creation of a lower garden around the Centre. 

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