Technische Universität Braunschweig
Discovering, Researching and Mediating Cultural Heritage
Responding to the emerging discussions about cultural heritage and identity formation of multicultural societies, the project proposes a hybrid architecture that combines an educational institution, a meeting place and an archive. The Amsterdam Centre for Cultural Heritage and Identity (ACHI) offers space for an experimental, integrative and participatory research of cultural heritage and identity, and the exchange of knowledge beyond the scientific audience.
The ACHI of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) explores the effects of cultural heritage in a broad sense (from material culture to art, literature, and the new media) on processes of identity formation and the effects of identities on the meanings attributed to cultural heritage. Individuals and groups collect, preserve, and distribute the material and immaterial remains of the past in order to position themselves in time and space, to determine where they come from, to whom they belong, and where they are heading. Understanding the interactions between cultural heritage and identities contributes substantially to the quality of individual life and society. The new research centre in the heart of Amsterdam functions as a mediator between the university and the city, scientists and society. Thus the ACHI should not only be a teaching but also a learning institution. A unique hybrid that combines an educational institution, a meeting place and an archive originates. In the course of this traditional cultural heritage institutions such as museums, archives and libraries should not be replaced, but their representation and the communication of knowledge is questioned and reinterpreted.
The site is Amsterdam‘s central square Spui with the Oude Lutherse Kerk located directly by the square, which since the 1960‘s is used by the University of Amsterdam (UvA) as an auditorium. The project aims to revitalize the church and making it accessible to the public again, while still granting the use of the church as a place of worship. By combining two differing typologies - sacral building and research centre - the place becomes a catalyst of interaction and communication within the city.