Designed by, RMC (Raafat Miller Consulting) Architects & Engineers, their proposal for the National Museum of Afghanistan aims to best represent the heritage and the people of the country through a practical, innovative and enduring physical plan. This building would provide a clear and simple organization for the visitor to follow a natural progress through the site. They accomplish this by using a spatial concept where the visitor of the museum is led through a sequence of visual and physical experiences to draw them to the next encounter. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The horizontal site is developed by combining the axes between the site entry and parking area, the new and existing museum, and the visual site line to the national Institute for Archeology where by creating a strong visual connection between the different building and site amenities. The vertical site is developed to reflect the beautiful naturally occurring topography of Afghanistan.
Due to the recent troubled history of Afghanistan we have designed a site that is inward focused to allow the walls around the site to start to become a distant memory. This site will feel like a calm, peaceful and protected environment. The site is entered by the visitors and the staff by an entry gate located on Darulaman Road. This entry and ticketing building is fully secured by the use of physical barriers, electronic surveillance and security guards. This location is also accessed by visitors and staff from the car/bus parking lot. The location of that was provided for in the design manual and allows for the existing garden to be maintained and to provide for additional security for the new and existing museum.
Once through the ticketing/security building and pass through the gift shop garden, visitors and staff pass through a gathering/security back of house building. This building would normally be directly connected to the ticketing and security building however for increased security for larger gatherings of people these buildings have been separated. The visitors and staff will separate at this point before entering the Garden.
Upon entering the Museum you are greeted by a grand hall. The temporary museum and the automobile display will be found on your right. To the left is the permanent display and Phase II of the permanent display. Per the design manual the existing garden will be maintained and provides for the foreground and enhancement of the mountain plain concept for the new museum. A museum promenade connects the gathering building with the main museum. This promenade sets up the visual and physical affect of dropping into a river valley cutting between two mountains. There is enrichment to the visual experience as the visitor passes down the promenade as more of the museum is exposed to the visitor the closer they get to the main museum. The “cutting into the valley” also provides an emphasis on the main museum and guides the visitor away from the existing museum until later in the visitor’s experience.
The promenade abruptly spills into the museum courtyard where the full view of the main museum is apparent and provides for an uplifting visitor experience. This courtyard is designed for the exhibit of large and heavy artifacts. The building facade and the water feature guide the visitor into the entrance of the main museum. A vista is created from the entrance of the main museum to the existing museum for the visitor when they leave the main museum. This vista will entice the visitor to walk the path to the existing museum. They will also have the choice to bypass the part of the site if they so choose. At the existing museum an outdoor exhibit area is provided for and also access to the existing museum
The VIP and Service Entrance is located on the south side of the site. A internal road connects to the VIP entrance and to the loading docks with additional van and car parking along with large artifact conservatory. The electrical equipment front end is located along this internal road. Architects: RMC Architects & Engineers Location: Kabul, Afghanistan Client: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan/Ministry of Information and Culture Program: Master Planning, National Museum Complex, Educational Facilities, Gardens, Dining, Guard Towers Area: 4.25 Hectares (Site) /18,800 SM (Museum Complex) Status: Design 2012 (Competition)