Aga Kahn Education Services appointed Mark Dudek Associates to design a new early years facility in the mountain town of Khorog, close to the border with Afganistan.
The straggling administrative centre of Khorog (Khorugh), is the only town in the Pamirs. Known locally as the Roof of the World, it occupies one of Asia’s remotest corners. It is the home of 30,000 people, as well as government offices, several foreign NGOs and the ambitious new University of Central Asia, a multi –campus project financed by the Aga Khan Foundation.
The project brief aims to raise standards and aspirations of primary and pre-school education in the region. The commission includes firstly, developing a children’s centre ‘model brief’ which will act as a blueprint for future kindergartens in the area; secondly detailed design proposals for a new 100 place kindergarten next to the town’s new Khorog Park. Finally the practice will design a new pre-primary school for 100 pupils with 3 reception classes at the Aga Kahn Lycee.
Mark recently visited the site with his client representative Manu Seth from AKES, Dubai’ where they undertook a feasibility study of each site. Commenting on his experience Mark Dudek said “despite the journey taking a very long time, including a turbulent flight over the mountains and a 15 hour return drive thru the deserts and mountains between Khorog and Dushanbe visiting some of the remotest parts of the area. I was overwhelmed by the welcome and spirit of the people I met”.
The buildings, which are now complete, illustrate what can be achieved on small budgets and big aspirations, in this, remote region.
Client: Aga Kahn Foundation