The Asmara Factory / Peter Volgger

09 30th, 2013

During our fieldwork trip to Asmara in March 2013 funded by the current FWF-project, we were able to visit the city’s archive. Due to present political conditions it is an unique opportunity to get at these collections. The archive has an impressive collection of plans of built and even unrealised (!) projects, which gives insight into Italian colonial architecture oft he interbellum – expecially the most important phase between 1935 and 1941. ‚The Asmara Factory’ is a proposal for the ‚APART-Programme’: The idea is to preserve and make available (in a second step) on the web a corpus of archival documents on Italian architecture in Asmara, to implement technical best practices and standards for capturing, creating and using digital assets and incorporate them into following projects and to shape a formal, ongoing digitization program. By digitalizing the plans we aim at approaching the reconditioning of Asmara’s archive step by step. The intention to approach to Asmara’s archvie leads into two directions. On the one hand, it is important to do some fundamental work. On the other we develop an attitude within architectural theory following an innovative way as well as the programmatic form oft he ‚archive’. We do not want to reconstruct Asmara’s history gaplessly, but rather aim at creating a montage which combines the analysis tot he design and hence shows how the archive is tied to Asmara of nowadays …

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