The Skateistan Mazar-e-Sharif facility is made up of three buildings - the Multi-sports Hall (left), Education Centre (centre) and Skatepark (right).
Skateistan Mazar-e-Sharif Facility
In the Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif, Skateistan has now opened its new three-part facility: a standalone Skatepark, a Multi-sports Hall, and a prominent three-story Education Centre made out of refurbished shipping containers that have been sourced from within Afghanistan. Upon entry through the front gate, the eye-catching education building takes centre stage, demonstrating that learning is at the heart of all Skateistan activities.
The containerized Education Centre, a playful network of interlinked cuboids, is a fitting home to Skateistan's arts-based education programs. Here the students will experience a network of skills and creative activities on which to build new opportunities and create their own unique futures.
The skateboarding and multi-sport sections of Skateistan MeS are arch-formed K-Span buildings. While these structures are normally attributed to military and armed forces, in this case they represent the ideal low-maintenance, multi-use space for athletic programs and arts-based education programs. Utilizing the K-Span open floor plan allows the program to maximize the usable space on the land provided, while additionally challenging the idea that such structures are only home to military or industrial installations.
The outdoor space has the potential to be developed into a child-safe park and playground for students, with design currently being developed to maximise the area for outdoor education and sports activities.
Looking at the entire project in this vein, the Skateistan facility in Mazar-e-Sharif is redefining how the educational process can begin for Afghan youth as well how traditional military-style buildings can be constructed and re-appropriated for peaceful, social purposes.
(Top left) The Education Centre is made from previously used shipping containers. (Top right) An external view of the skateboarding facility. (Bottom left) A view of the Marmal Mountains from the offices of the Education Centre. (Bottom right) The Skateistan facility sits comfortably in the surrounding neighbourhood.
An inspiring entrance to the Education Centre.
Skateistan Mazar’s Educational Centre possesses a bright, spacious, inspiring design. It is a place for creative and vocational learning, where flexible open spaces are readily available for educational needs. Visibly connected staff and student environments contribute to a sense of community.
The size of the MeS Educational Centre allows for two classrooms, two workshop areas, and a large open dining room space and conference room, both of which can also be used to accommodate larger art projects. In order to support student needs, the facility also includes a prayer room, and a two-story student support office. Here, students and family are able to discuss matters in private with our dedicated student support team.
(Top left) The main floor of the Education Centre as viewed from the guest appartments. (Top right) The bright and spacious entrance to the Education Centre. (Bottom left) A workshop space for vocational skills training. (Bottom right) The prayer room.
(Top left) The student library provides a place for students to learn and relax. (Top right) Inside one of the classroom spaces. (Bottom left) Classrooms comfortably accommodate 20-30 students at one time. (Bottom right) A private conference room for staff meetings, program planning and staff and volunteer training workshops.
(Top left and right) Open and light office areas provide an exciting enviroment for essential administration tasks. (Bottom left) The communal dinning area provides an indoor social area for staff and students. (Bottom right) The communal living area in the visitor appartments.
The world-class skateboarding facilty.
Skateistan Mazar’s Skatepark is complete with state-of-the-art, world-class IOU ramps, designed and constructed by Andreas Schutzenberger, owner of Europe’s leading ramp building company. Designed with previous Skateistan students’ preferences in mind, the park is full of curved transitions and flat ramps, providing many places for the students to enjoy progressing their skateboarding skills at a difficulty curve that suits them. The support from IOU Ramps and Mr. Schutzenberger, who constructed the entire MeS Skatepark with a volunteer team in only five days, was an enormous contribution to the project.
The skateboarding facility also houses a changing area for students to put on essential safety gear, and an equipment room, which ensures that safety gear and skateboarding equipment is easily stored and accounted for.
(Top left) An overview of the Skatepark. (Top right) An overview of the beginner section of the Skatepark. (Bottom left) A view of 'The great wall of Afghanistan' from the mini-ramp section of the Skatepark. (Bottom right) Skateboarding equipment is stored and given out to students from a dedicated storage room.
The Multi-sport Hall at Skateistan Mazar-e-Sharif is an arch-formed K-Span building. Although normally attributed to military and armed forces, in this case it represents the ideal low-maintenance, versatile space for athletic programs to be practiced with privacy and shelter from the elements. The sports facility provides an additional platform to engage with youth on a multitude of levels, and provide a community hub for young people to practice team-building skills, and learn discipline, motivation and coordination while trying their hand at a diverse array of sports.
(Left)The Multi-sports Hall offers a flexible area for sports activities and events. (Right) The Multi-sports Hall has volleyball, basketball, football, tennis and table tennis equipment - allowing for a range of sporting activities.