Mikołaj Białasik

Architectural Design Crossovers

MSc 1 studio: 'City of Flows/City in Flow' Hamburg | Fall semester 2019

The Archive of Generations

The Archive of Generations challenges the conventions of the archive as a building type that has a controlled and closed system. By mixing its function with public, social and educational programs the Archive of Generations both shapes a new institutional type and enables the different degrees of interaction between the users and the archival material. Focusing on the documentation as an active process rather than the documents as static objects to be preserved, the institute blends the boundaries between active and passive storage. This helps form a living research and educational centre, and eventually help produce and disseminate knowledge among youths and olds. 

The archive is mainly inspired by the Holocaust monument located nearby, which was built in the place of the former Hannoverscher Bahnhof – a symbol of deportation of Hamburg’s citizens during WWII. The monument is a pure symbol of the fragility of memory.

The form of the archive draws its shape the flows within the context and the flows of information. Integration into the site, the open and semi-public routing blended into the pedestrian and traffic flows in the context, and the high degree of visual transparency, all contribute to the different degrees of accessibility of institution and avoid formal limitations or closures. To achieve these goals the major part of the institution is public and accessible twenty-four hours a day. Actually, they blend different spatial conditions, levels and qualities in order to enhance the archive’s role as a binding institution not only for the society but also for the Hafencity. Outer envelope follows the same logic and not to interrupt the connectivity between outside and inside. However, the façade also acts as a performative surface to adjust to the lighting and climate conditions.