Main Puplic Record Office

Saxony, Dresden

competition 2005 - 2.price

Old and new buildings alike are to receive a common infrastructure and connect with each other by a transport route in the basement. This route connects with a freight elevator newly installed in the inner court of the old storage building. The distribution levels, now inside the building with its roofed-over inner court, enable optimal access to all storage levels with distances cut to a minimum.

The listed administration building is to be adjusted to modern office-space requirements with minimal modification. Thus, an elevator will be the only addition. In line with the dictum „enhance and strengthen existing qualities“, the main entrance to the public records office complex will now lead on through the old entrance building.

Similar to the old archive-storage building, the geometrical contours of the new building are shaped in relation to the urban context. The utilisation-levels of the new building are stacked according to function. Basement storage and ground-level workshops form the basis for the compact storage cube of the upper levels.

The „reading-room landscape” of the public visitors’ area is located between these mass components. An apparently disordered, chaotic assembly of supporting columns keeps the two massive cubes apart, and the reading-room area is created by being wedged in between them. This irregular, „fracture-effect“ construction of the public level allows the concept of history to come alive, demonstrating that it does not always occur at even and regular intervals, but rather that its course is based on fracture and breakdown.