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Lincoln City Book Archive

Part 1 Project 2014
Sara Hesham
De Montfort University Leicester UK
Lincoln city book archive is designed for preserving and storing religious books and manuscripts where scholars can pilgrim to attain knowledge. It is also can be accessed by the public for reference and attending lectures. The project builds upon a scheme of preservation and served spaces, where it is mainly applied in the 'Book Shrine' part of the building, where the space is only served by the librarians, with restriction for the public.

The site is situated in Lincoln city, United kingdom. The city is on a hill with Lincoln cathedral on top to be Lincoln's most famous landmark. The activity of climbing up the hill to reach the site formed a metaphysical journey that triggered a feeling of anticipation, in which to be the whole concept of the project. The concept has developed from experiencing the topography of the city, the urban fabric and city fenestrations making all the city elements feel similar. Due to the unfolding exercise of spaces ,while walking up the hill, has triggered "Anticipating what is beyond", leaving the visitor uncertain with only one solution which is to explore the spaces more. Therefore the word "anticipation" as a meaning and a feeling will be the engine to design the city archive.

The project manifests the literature piece "Unpacking My Library" by Walter Benjamin, in conjunction with a rigorous study of archive typologies and using the monastery of Mont Saint Michel as a main precedent to apply 'anticipation' within the journey in the spaces leading to the book shrines.

While existing as a polemical entity, the project is an example of "served spaces" where the librarian are only allowed to be in contact with the shrines, serving the public where as the shrines would only be observed from far, creating an uncertain connection between the subject and the object, thus anticipation.

Sara Hesham


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