The designing of an NS-Dokumentationszentrum at the site of the Braune Haus is an important, complex and sensitive task. The job in hand can be reduced to two main issues: functionality and meaning. Functionality speaks for itself and goes beyond just designing a building. The design needs to withstand changes through time and the space thought out carefully so that the institute can fulfil its social role in the best possible way. But the more important aspect is meaning. Our belief is that the building cannot be considered as just a neutral “container” for important content. This place and with this program, the architecture and the landscaping will inevitably make a statement about the significance of the ‘document centre’ in the context of the city.
The building refers to the legacy of imagination, memory, historical awareness and the role humans play within a setting. The design is a cross section, a sort of enlarged microscope looking at the layered history of the place. The building provides access literally and figuratively to this history, while simultaneously emphasising the importance of this information in the public realm. The building is , like legacy and memory, sometimes diffused, sometimes layered or transparent. Therefore making the visitors become a part of the building and exhibition; and together they become a part of the city.