Johan Voordouw, Unit 20 2007/8
Memory Archive, Tivoli

The project, a memory archive in Tivoli, was meant 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 continuously and simultaneously oscillated between hidden and revealed chambers and labyrinths.

The archive is separated into a three linked buildings that occupy the site in varied ways. The public archive bridges an existing stair in the town and runs perpendicular to the street giving visual access through the building and site to experience the archive passively. The private archive is carved into the soft travertine hillside and requires more active participation. Whilst it is more hidden it also offers better vantage points in which to hide and view others using the archive. Lastly is the archive's library, where memories get organized, catalogued and stored. This structure rests most visibly in the town adjacent to the entry bridge.

Furthermore, to gain an understanding of the experiential aspects of the memory archive the project developed and revealed the atmospherics of the archive, the wonderment or burden that secrets may contain, the heat and humidity or the cool chill and darkness. The project attempts to illustrate the experience of such a place and to convey the emotional aspects of what it would feel like to use a memory archive.