Two enormous figures of the Buddha were created here in the 4th and 5th centuries; the larger was 175 feet (53 meters) high, and the smaller was 120 feet (about 40 meters).
The two Buddha figures, together with numerous ancient man-made caves in the cliffs north of the town, make Bamiyan a major Afghan archaeological site.
In early 2001 the country's then-ruling Taliban regime had the statues destroyed, despite worldwide pleas to save them.
The area and archaeological remains were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003.
The Bamiyan Cultural Centre is a project intended to provide space for exhibitions and training, research and education, and help
to promote the resurgence of culture in the Bamiyan Valley.
The concept is to build in a modern way that is expressive of the specific cultural context, develops architectural patterns from the regional environment, and does so in a straightforward rigorous manner.
The architecture shall be able to maintain itself over time, allow for upgrading, be of low maintenance, have low operational costs, and is to be adaptable. The new building is integrated into the site and the traditional pattern of development harmonizing with the landscape.
The building adopts various features of traditional Afghan farmhouse architecture; the courtyard structure with enclosed volumes creating a large outdoor space that is entered before entering the building proper,
areas of strong solid walls that boldly articulate the cubic architectural form, and the texture, color, and materiality of the local natural environment.
Architecturally unpretentious and diverse; the construction is reduced to a few tactile materials and simple forms.