Design of Silence – Bamyan Medical Facility, Afghanistan

Issue 50
Text | Maria Aslam
Visual | ARCOP Associates (Pvt.) Ltd

Medical institutes, research laboratories, and hospitals are structures that are unlikely to cross one’s mind as a space to visit for recreation or even as a curiosity. However, there are some significant medical facilities that overpower the landscape with their poignant architecture. The embalming nature of the edifice humanizes the pain, suffering, and the alleviation that resonates within the walls of such structures.
This project is located in the Bamyan Valley in the Hazarajat region of Central Afghanistan. A rugged mountain terrain, that dictates the lives of its inhabitants in severity and stringent access to many life amenities. A landscape where the eye is used to the high mountains and rolling rocky grounds, but the heights reconcile with the energy and spirit of the landscape. Simulating the quiet emptiness of a village, where silence develops an architectural tool, it evokes the intimacies and social functionalism of the traditional Bamyan village.

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Maria Aslam is a prolific writer, architectural historian, and environmental activist, working in the fields of interior design, architecture, and heritage conservation. As the founder and editor-in-chief of ADA Magazine, she has pioneered the ADA Awards, the first of its kind, in the disciplines of Architecture, Design, and Art. Alongside her architectural and interior design practice, ArchWorks, she is the chairperson of Pakistan’s Institute of Interior Designers.

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