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20th Century Military Archive, Berwick-Upon-Tweed

Part 1 Project 2005
William Flint
University of Edinburgh Edinburgh UK
The archive will house a collection of information and artefacts relating to 20th Century military history that have been gathered on a regional and national scale. It will replace these collections in Berwick’s local context – an area that has been losing evidence of its 20th century military heritage since the end of World War II.
The proposed archive is an underground structure; it will reveal the dynamic and evolving history of Berwick’s defences through a detailed investigation and exposure of it’s hidden archaeological layers. It inserts a 21st century structure within these layers, which in turn acts as an archaeological filing cabinet to archive the collected information.
The building incorporates a library, permanent and temporary exhibition space, lecture theatre and document restoration lab. It will function both as an educational centre for research purposes, and as a exhibition space for day-to-day visitors.

William Flint

A meticulous archaeological investigation of a section of Berwick’s historic city wall forms the basis of this project. The overlaying of historical maps and assimilation of local memory has informed a process of dissection and revelation, as the wall is turned inside-out to reveal the ghostings of earlier structures accreted over centuries to defend the city from both military attack and the sea. Within the emerging pattern of walls and hidden structures, new interventions have been made and spaces for occupation and circulation hollowed out. Through a careful and intuitive design process, the historic walls have been excavated and edited to support an archive of modern military archaeology within the corpus of the old.

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