NS Documentation Centre
Status not realised, competition in 2008
Client City of MunichType Culture / Education
National Socialist Documentation Centre, Munich.
National Socialist Documentation Centre, Munich. The new building was to be rational and modest, but still have an urban presence, open to the city and yet focused inwards on itself: no pathos, no monument, no finger-pointing, and yet still more than just any other building with a defined content. That all had to be expressed both outwards and inwards. The new National Socialist Documentation Centre in Munich, situated by Karolinenplatz and Königsplatz, has both a specific expression and is unmistakeably open.
The sculptural form of the tall rectangular building has the footprint of the former political building, the first party headquarters of the National Socialists (NSDAP). It has been sunken to basement level and develops upwards, so that it is high enough to look over the nearby buildings. The construction site with its front garden area is enclosed on the one hand, but the upper part of the building noticeably projects into the street space.
The interior way-finding reflects the public nature of the building. Like a double helix, two mutually intertwined stairs provide access to the documentation and seminar areas on each level. These documentation and seminar areas were deliberately intermingled to prevent creating separate exhibition areas, thereby ensuring that seminar uses permeate the entire building. Both staircases lead to the top floor with the cafeteria and the large rooftop terrace. The tour of the documentation centre ends there with a magnificent view of the today’s Munich.