Competition 2011: New construction of a historical archive and art and museum library, Cologne (D), mention

Taking the concept of a “cultural treasury” as our basis, we developed a “treasure chest” which houses both historical and contemporary documents on its interior and is protected by a surrounding “shell”. We felt it important to enable visitors to experience the dimensions of this “treasure chest”, and with that gain an insight into the importance and volume of the documents collated therein.

The “treasure chest” represents an independent building section – or depository – organized in a way which fulfils the specified requirements for the storage of archived materials. The U-shape grouping of all other functions around the depository forms a “protective shell” which also provides good, quick access between workspaces and the depository itself. All offices and workshops are positioned adjacent to the façade and accessible via galleries. A gap between the galleries and the depository allows light in from above, thereby ensuring that all galleries receive natural light.