Project Year
Project Type
Project Team
Museum, Academic (Thesis)
Ferda Kolatan, Advisor
Keith Marks, Advisor
This thesis questions a conventional reading of site and context in architecture. Much in the way that memory distorts truth and history, the biases of site — commonly encompassing physical contexts, singular histories, socioeconomic conditions, and demographic analyses — distort the design of buildings.

This proposal enables the agency of the architectural elements to tell a new story of European culture, art, and history for the Museum of the 20th Century. The fragments of the building(s) are showcased as artifacts — objectively, in isolation; vestiges of cultural memory, irreducible to a singular history and ultimately self-referential.
At the center of the Kulturforum in Berlin, the Museum of the 20th Century represents a nucleus through which to navigate the city. It is tasked with centralizing, for the first time, the collections of four sister museums: four thousand artifacts and art pieces currently scattered throughout various depots across Berlin. The proposal thus embraces an oscillating role between a container and a monument — embodying archival best-practices, a collective cultural identity, and an extensive tectonic and stylistic language.
This architectural language uses materiality and color to inhibit the distinction between ornament, architecture, and functional elements. Thus, the design becomes an assemblage of parts, communicating the complex purposiveness of the building elements while stabilizing the new whole. Additionally, the museum complex adopts the organizational grid from the adjoining Neue Nationalgalerie and absorbs it into the design proposal. The adjacency to St. Matthew's Church provokes an incorporation of chunky forms and symmetrical spaces in reference to nonsecular spaces. The ground and walls are porous, which allows spaces designed with differing rules to "bleed" into one another.