This two million m2 community scheme, which won both the Residential Project and Sustainable Project of the Year at the Middle East Architect Awards, will provide over 2000 homes for the rapidly expanding population of Afghanistan.
Project director, Fariborz Hatam, Aedas, added: “Afghanistan is a country that is marked by war and corruption and resources are limited. When designing in such a place, one has to consider the culture, climatic conditions, transport, water irrigation and infrastructure to provide flexibility for future growth.”
Situated in the province of Kandahar, the site gently slopes and has a backdrop of mountains bordering the Arghandab valley. A wide central park runs through the masterplan.
The park divides the site in two and links the retail area at the southern end with the Friday mosque at the northern end. “We have divided the sectors so the residential population can feed the commercial district to reduce the need for long distance travel,” added Hatam.
Aino Mina is designed as a peaceful environment which embraces the beauty and tranquility of nature. Water cascades down the slope and through the park in a series of features. The centre of the masterplan is described as a tree trunk that structures the entire scheme.
Hatam adds: “The project will represent a paradigm shift in quality of life in Kandahar. It embraces sustainability through all aspects of the design by respecting the Afghani culture.”
According to Hatam, the project purposely avoids green building rating systems. A more bespoke sustainability framework was devised which encompasses quality of life, integrated transport, climate and water usage.
A wide pedestrian pathway, or ‘green-finger’, crosses the park and links the functional centres formed by the school to the west and the healthcare centre to the east. Four other wide pathways lead from the park to local neighbourhood mosques and community centres.