The contemporary fruition of art in the city needs new institutions, able to be at same time more accessible and more specific. While the offer of a traditional XIX century museum was rather generic and highly formalized, contemporary
art collections needs to be extremely precise and highly informal. We propose to reconsider both the XIX century model (too rigid, too immutable, too pompous) and the XX century model (in the end, just lost to entertainment), to imagine a XXI century archive, a machine providing a very simple, a-rhetorical, plural manner to access the collection and a precise, clean, open architectural
frame. Such an idea of the archive implies a combination of open platforms and operative “machines” that allow the collection to be accessible in the simplest and most direct way. Open, neutral areas are combined with highly specific areas and produce an articulated interior landscape.The new archive takes the form of two shelves placed one next to the other.
The old building is entirely emptied out and two new simple structures made in steel are placed inside. The two structures have the same dimensions, but have different number of levels and host different programs. The shelf towards the city contains the public part of the archive (foyer, exhibition, lectures), the shelf towards the river contains the collection and the conditioned exhibition spaces. The stairs, the elevator and the lifting platform are located in the gap separating the shelves. The operational logic of exhibition and research is immediately evident to the visitor. The architecture of the new Archive is a “choreographic device” that deliberately stages the activities happening inside the building. The entrance sequence is very natural and at the same time very complex from a spatial point of view. The visitor enters in the large foyer and immediately recognizes the two shelves and the machinery connecting the different levels. The spectacle of storing and exhibiting the collection is immediately evident. The spatial devices are extremely simple: two maison Domino facing one another, and equally simple is the operational logic of the system: freely programmable platforms are combined with extremely practical archive space.