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Press Releases 2012

U.S. and Afghan Officials Announce Winners of the International Architectural Ideas Competition for New Design of National Museum

September 18, 2012
1st Prize Winner  of National Museum

1st Prize Winner of National Museum

U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens joined Afghanistan’s Minister of Information and Culture, Dr. Makhdoom Raheen; Director of the National Museum of Afghanistan, Omara Khan Masoudi;  and Director of Kabul University’s Afghanistan Center, Nancy Dupree to announce the winners of the International Architectural Ideas Competition for the new design for the National Museum of Afghanistan. The ceremony was held at the National Museum’s Ethnography Hall on Monday, September 17.

The International Architectural Ideas Competition for the National Museum Project is an outcome of sustained Afghan-U.S. cooperation over the past decade to rebuild and sustain a National Museum worthy of Afghanistan’s rich and noble cultural history and heritage.

In the ceremony announcing the winning designs at the National Museum, Ambassador Hugo Llorens said:

A museum is about stories: not only does it hold the stories of the past, but it also shows the path forward.  This museum stands as a symbol of resilience for Afghans and the world beyond—it embodies the characteristics of national pride, cultural unity, and tolerance through display of this nation’s heritage and treasures.

Seventy-two unique designs from 31 countries were evaluated by a jury, chaired by Minister Raheen and comprised of Afghan and international experts in the fields of engineering, museum planning and Afghan architecture and cultural heritage. Of the 72 designs, the following designs were selected:

First Prize: AV62 Arquitectos SLP, Spain

Second Prize: Mansilla + Tuñón Arquitectos, Spain

Third Prize: fs-architekten, Paul Schröder Architekt BDA, Germany

Honorable Mentions:

IAN+ architecture & engineering, Italy

Luisa Ferro, Architect, Italy

Lawrence and Long Architects, Ireland

Images of the designs can be viewed on the U.S. Embassy’s Flickr website:

The International Architectural Ideas Competition was sponsored by the U.S. Embassy Kabul via grantee S.E.E. Office for Architecture and Design in Kabul. Since 2002, the U.S. government has invested $10 million in the National Museum, including $5 million in 2011 to support the design and construction of a modern and secure National Museum building in Kabul.

Ambassador Llorens and Minister Raheen also announced the launch of the Capital Campaign to raise funds from Afghan and international sources to build the new National Museum. Ambassador Llorens said:

The capital campaign for the National Museum of Afghanistan is an opportunity for the international community to help preserve some of the world’s singular archaeological treasures and mark a new era in Afghanistan’s future.

The Museum’s story also testifies to Afghans’ determination to preserve their culture in the face of all odds.  The Museum can be a constant, steady force in the life of Afghanistan as it moves into the future.

For further Details, please refer to the competition official website at: