Today we travel to Afghanistan with a story that talks about death, architecture, education, war, peace, and a BLUE primary school in Afghanistan.
In 2001 Maria Grazia Cutuli, a prominent Italian journalist, was murdered by a group of gunmen in Afghanistan. Ten years later, the Foundation named in her honour decided to build a “sign of peace”: a school that was an innovative educational space offering an alternative to the conventional models associated with post-war emergency reconstruction.
The school was designed by IaN+, 2A+P/A
and Architect Mario Cutuli. The first challenge for this design team
was the researching of a layout capable of matching evocative spaces to existing functional needs. In fact, the building is comprised of a boundary line formed by a seemingly random arrangement of modules.
This new primary school hosts eight classrooms, a double-height library, a secretarial office, staff rooms and a caretaker’s house. Both external and internal spaces contribute to the shaping of the educational environment, and it was nominated for the Aga Khan Architecture Award.
The following video explains the incredible story of this blue school, built by Mario Catuli, Maria Grazia’s brother who is an architect based in Rome.
I find fascinating the story of this school as it is a personal homage to the memory of Maria Grazia Cutuli, but also because it is based in Afghanistan:
” The people of Afghanistan have been living in a protracted state of conflict and instability for 3 decades. In addition to uncertain security, the extreme mountain terrain and harsh climate make it difficult to access education, especially for girls. Under the Taliban regime violence and intimidation were routinely used to prevent girls and women from attending school and gaining the education that is their right.” Source: UNICEF
Afghanistan reminds me of the best-seller books by Khaled Hosseini.
In his novels “The Kite Runner” or ” A Thousand Splendid Suns” he describes the terrible situation for women in his country and one can imagine the extraordinary impact of this blue school in such a brutal environment for women.
DESIGN TEAM: 2A+P/A (Gianfranco Bombaci, Matteo Costanzo), Mario Cutuli, IaN+, ma0/emmeazero
PHOTO: Giovanna Silva and Antonio Ottomanelli
MODEL: Marco Galofaro – Modelab