Archiv Marzona Berlin
"Archiv Marzona Berlin" is the name of an international competition for designing a museum dedicated to the Marzona collection.
Egidio Marzona, German art collector, owns one of the largest Avant-Garde art collections, consisting of more than one million pieces. Marzona’s ambition is to create an archive and make it entirely accessible to visitors, students and researchers in order to improve the knowledge about this historical period. For this reason, the city of Berlin offered a designated area for construction of this building in the Kulturforum.
After having the opportunity of visiting his wonderful “Orderly Chaos” home-museum in Berlin, I was able to experience his way of living art, sharing it, and literally making it usable. Seeing the art collector live his daily life surrounded by artworks reminded me of the concept of the Wunderkammer (the ancestor of the museum). This strong concept would be the core of the project. I wanted to propose a figure of the art collector that was so well described by the Wunderkammer. With this approach I could welcome visitors into a space that will transmit the same atmosphere that I felt in Marzona’s home.
The study of the collection suggested to me the building’s composition. My attention was focused on the most architectural of the Avant-Gardes, the Metaphysics.
The analysis on the urban context revealed a strong disorganization of the Kulturforum. This disorganization encouraged me to insert my building with discretion in the block, respecting the heights and the alignments with the surrounding buildings, and above all without designing an object in conflict with the environment. Therefore, in order to contain the height of the building but still giving relevance to the arcade, I designed an entrance below street level. It descends through a public stairway that brings in the courtyard, which is surrounded by three sides at a height of sixteen meters, while the height of the building on the street level is eleven meters.
This choice was made to avoid the difficult, and perhaps impossible comparison with the Neue Nationalgalerie. My intent was to create a dialogue with this important “neighbor” without trying to compete with it. I am aware that my design with a hollow entrance and predominantly private character will be next to a National Museum. A Museum that is an historical monument with an elevated entrance on a podium and a strong public and institutional character. A Monument not only recognized as a symbol of the city, but also as modern architecture.
Once the entrance square has been designed, the entire building will grow around this space adding the different parts to form the letter “C”.