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Hutchinson's charity heads to Kabul

Architects for Aid, Max Hutchinson's charity, will be heading to Afghanistan to train local architects and students to renovate and redevelop a 'mud' city.

The charity will send out two teams of 20 architects, spending two weeks at a time in the Afghan capital of Kabul. They will be working with the Turquoise Mountain Foundation to help restore 12 key mud brick buildings over a total of ten weeks.

'There has been a major drive by the Afghan government to rebuild on the site, but we believe by renovating these beautiful buildings, it will really benefit the city,' said charity CEO Vicky Harris.

The buildings are constructed from mud and thistle compound bricks, which are then fixed around a wooden frame. The city has been standing for hundreds of years, but over time the stability of the structures has weakened due to war, and recent earthquakes.

The main aim of the UK-based architects is to share their skills with local architects and architecture students to allow them to carry on the project.

'Tertiary education in Afghanistan is not as good as it once was, so the architecture graduates do not have the skills to do a full restoration,' Harris said.

'The entire scheme will take five years to complete, so our architects will be going out there to start the work, and then gradually work themselves out of a job, while passing on their knowledge,' she added.

by Richard Vaughan

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