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Aberdeen Archive

Part 2 Project 2011
Daria Byra
Robert Gordon University Aberdeen UK

Aberdeen Archive

The past is everywhere. All around us lie features which like ourselves and our thoughts, have more or less recognizable antecedents. Relics, histories, memories suffuse human experience. Each particular trace of the past ultimately perishes, but collectively they are immortal. (...) the past is omnipresent.

David Lowenthal, The Past is a Foreign Country


Understanding the city and many of its (mis)representations makes one realise that every place has its history and symbolic connotations which merge into incidental urban landscape. In the context of the periphery, along the marginal areas between the sea and the city of Aberdeen, the urban grittiness and the traces of the past are pervasive. The chosen site for the development is located where the industrial quarter of Aberdeen harbour with its docks, ferry terminals, fish market and fenced off industry clash together with the historical area of ‘Footdee’ - preserved fishing village – peculiar place, caught in time.The key driver for this project was the idea of memory, of people and places that are lost through the passage of time. The proposed archive building will be the depository of such fleeting experiences where a visitor discovers phantoms of the past, nostalgic filmic memories through the familiar places, invisible and long since forgotten. Repository building will provide a continuum of culture, enabling one to understand the past and at the same time believe in the future.Free standing tower - depository of memories from the rich history of Aberdeen will preserve the record of the society and its morale and identity through the collection of documentary, educational, industrial, political and amateur films. The archive building will house offices, workshops where continuing process of copying, transfer and restoration of the originals will take place; research rooms for serious and casual browsers, exhibition and viewing areas (group and individual) and archive collection.The repository space itself will become a building within a building - time capsule; with an outer shell almost of a transient nature.

Daria Byra

Tutor(s)

2011
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