ARCH 502A: Architectural Design V Gallery: Proving Ground: UNESCO's Laboratories

An Archive for Endangered UNESCO Sites, Paris

This project proposes to transform a portion of the existing UNESCO Paris headquarters building into a comprehensive archive. Many World Heritage sites, particularly “natural” sites live in our culture both as images (in film, advertisements, and other media) and as preserved sites. In an era of climate change and expanding human populations, original films documenting UNESCO sites need careful preservation, while the ecosystems and natural features of those sites are also inherently valuable and fragile. In Phase I, the project proposes to insert a film archive into the headquarters building, while “exporting” two parts of the building. The “exported” portions will be each installed on two endangered natural sites, New Zealand’s Te Wahipounamu and the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra, as seed and specimen-collecting laboratories. During Phase II, when the collections are complete, the “exported” parts will be reinstalled in the headquarters building as cold storage vaults preserving the flora and fauna collections.