KLINGMANN
KLINGMANN
Architecture Project
    NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AFGHANISTAN
    Kabul, Afghanistan
    TREASURE BOX AS METAPHOR: A HIDDEN MYSTERY
    Klingmann Architects and Brand Consultants' competition entry for the new National Museum of Afghanistan envisions the institution as a compact jewel box concealing the treasure that history has entrusted to it piece by piece. For this reason, the box, though dense and hermetic on the outside, must be suggestive and magical on the inside. Seemingly simple and plain on the exterior, the box reveals the deep, rich and complex heritage of the people of Afghanistan on the interior. While the treasures are carefully embedded and protected deep within the box, they are not readily available to the onlooker. They remain a hidden mystery, longing to be discovered. We want to capture this sense of mystery and longing and The space within invites the visitor on a journey of unearthing and discovery. The space within is neither a mere organizing element, nor a beautiful but distant architecture. The exhibition's experience has the ability to evoke places and people from a tiny yet resilient fragment of ceramic which has managed to survive, and which speaks of the fragility of time.

    THE MUSEUM AS A SYMBOL: PRIVATE, PRECIOUS, AND PROTECTED
    The organization of the museum is based on the Afghani courtyard house, which is characterized by a layering of walls, oriented towards an inner courtyard. The privacy measures that influence the design of the museum are representative of the Afghani lifestyle, characterized by a system of layering and thresholds. Courtyard houses, which are common in the region demonstrate strict territoriality and create a private space for introversion. As such, the museum is conceived as a “private” rather than a “public” space characterized by a spatial progression of walls to protect it from the outside. The courtyard organization is on the one hand an attempt to conform to necessary security measures and sustainable climate control, but also an attempt to create a private, peaceful and introspective environment for visitors that is conducive to study and reflection.
    THE IDENTITY OF AFGHANISTAN: THE EARTH AND THE LAND
    Afghanistan is a multiethnic society, and its historical status as a crossroads has contributed significantly to its diverse ethnic makeup. In a land that is so culturally diverse, it is the land is what defines and unites Afghanistan as a nation, where landscape and culture are inextricably linked. Our intention is to bring the vastness of the land, the mountains and the valleys of the surrounding landscape into the interior of the museum. The design of the building is at its most basic an inverted mountainscape, where the galleries are nestled like precious rocks inside a strong perimeter wall, built from recycled materials that were left after disasters. It is a building devoted to tradition, history, a sense of place, sustainable use of materials, and the people who will inhabit it.
    Data
    LOCATION: Kabul, Afghanistan
    SITE AREA: 52700 m2
    PROJECT SCOPE: Master Planning, Architectural Design, Landscape Design, Exhibition Design
    PROJECT TYPE: Cultural Museum
    CLIENT: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Ministry of Information and Culture, The National Museum of Afghanistan, The Embassy of the United States of America - Kabul, Afghanistan, S.E.E |Office for Architecture and Design

    PROJECT SHEET
    Credits
    DESIGN TEAM:
    KABC Team: Anna Klingmann, DongCheol Yang, Sarina Heres, Dominique Dassum, Andrew Brooks, Bing Wu, Zijian Xu