Open archive - digital preservation and dissemination of architecture

Bibliotheca Alexandrina

The Norwegian National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design and Snøhetta are teaming up to explore how digital innovation can contribute to preserving and communicating architectural heritage.

In the project Bibliotheca Alexandrina: Open archive - digital preservation and dissemination of architecture, initiated and run by the National Museum's architecture team and Snøhetta, we will delve into questions such as:

How can new technology and digital publishing methods help communicate architecture and make historical documentation available to a broad audience? Can artificial intelligence boost interest and understanding of the buildings surrounding us?

Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Photo: OiOiOi

Exploring new technology

Through this innovation project, we want to investigate various possibilities for preserving and making architectural heritage available using digital technology. The historical material used as a pilot includes both analog and digitally created artifacts related to Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, Snøhetta's first seminal project, which started in 1989. The central part of the material is from the design process and sourced from Snøhetta's archives. There is also additional material created by other involved parties.

The project aspires to generate ideas for solutions through interdisciplinary workshops across sectors and exploration of relevant new technology. The method—and the result—will probably challenge established practices at architectural firms and in archives and museums. The aim is to develop ideas for both the archive and museum field and today's practicing architects and designers in Norway and internationally.

Photo: OiOiOi

Inspiration and insight

Input and inspiration are obtained from relevant projects from technology companies such as Piql, Made by ON, and Opening Hours, as well as the architectural firms MVRDV and the Norman Foster Foundation. Architecture education is represented by the Technical University Delft and the public archive and museum institutions by Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, MoMA, New York, the National Museum, Oslo, and the National Archives in Norway.

The project results will be presented at an open seminar in late autumn 2024.

The innovation project is financed by the National Archives through the initiative called Arkivspira.