The Memory Archive in Tivoli was designed as a counterpoint to the Vatican Secret’s Archive in Rome. The archive sought to create secret spaces for the public to explore, search and hide. It developed a woven sequence of internal volumes that oscillated between hidden chambers and revealing labyrinths.
The project included three linked buildings that meandered through the site, inserting new vantage points from which to view the town and the people using the archive.
The first building at the north end of the site is the Public Archive. The platforms bridge an existing stair, which winds up the hill towards the old town and runs perpendicular to the street giving visual access through the building and site to experience the archive passively.
Adjacent to the public archive is the Private Archive; more hidden it is carved deep into the soft travertine hillside beneath the medieval houses that bound the site. Whilst more difficult to experience it offers better vantage points in which to hide and view others using the archive, revealing the full sublime richness of the spaces.
Lastly is the archive’s library, where memories left by individuals are organized, catalogued and stored. This structure rests most visibly in the town, adjacent to the entry bridge and town square at the south end of the site.
The Memory Archive seeks to convey the emotional aspects of what it would feel like to use a memory archive, to form an architectural expression and explore the atmospherics of a deeply personal space, one that encloses the wonderment of thoughts and the burden of secrets feeling both the heat and humidity or the cold chill and darkness.
Completed at the Bartlett, UCL. Dr. Marjan Colletti and Dr. Marcos Cruz, 2008.