Maria Grazia Cutuli Primary School - Aga Khan Award for Architecture
Aga Khan Development Network

Maria Grazia Cutuli Primary School

Maria Grazia Cutuli Primary School
Location: Herat, Afghanistan (Central Asia)
Architect: 2A+P/A, IaN+, Mario Cutuli, ma0/emmeazero, Rome, Italy
Client: Maria Grazia Cutuli Foundation
Completed: 2011
Design: 2010
Site size: Ground floor area: 650 m2 - Total site area: 2’000 m2

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Built in honour of Italian journalist Maria Grazia Cutuli, murdered in Afghanistan in 2001, this school represents an alternative approach to emergency school design for war-torn areas. Like a small village, the complex is intended to resemble an unplanned juxtaposing of elements enclosed by a boundary wall. It accommodates eight classrooms, various staff accommodation, a double-height library and a garden which acts as a ‘green classroom’. Built of reinforced concrete with brick cladding, the structures are painted rather than rendered, to save costs. The walls’ range of blue tones reflects the ‘lapis lazuli’ pigment used on local pottery, while window frames are in contrasting red.

2013 Award Recipients