Presenting Difficult Pasts Through Architecture : Converting Nazi Perpetrators' Sites to Documentation Centers book cover
1st Edition

Presenting Difficult Pasts Through Architecture
Converting Nazi Perpetrators' Sites to Documentation Centers

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 25, 2021
ISBN 9780367217624
March 25, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
240 Pages 86 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Architectural design can play a role in helping make the past present in meaningful ways when applied to pre-existing buildings and places that carry notable and troubling pasts. In this comparative analysis, Rumiko Handa establishes the critical role architectural designs play in presenting difficult pasts by examining documentation centers in Germany.

Presenting Difficult Pasts through Architecture analyses four centers—Cologne, Nuremberg, Berlin, and Munich—and their shared intent to make material evidence of National Socialism involvement in authentic perpetrator sites which were part of both peaceful prior histories and current everyday life. Applying original frameworks, Handa considers what more architectural design could do toward meaningful representations and interpretations.

This book is a must-read for students practitioners and academics interested in how architectural design can participate in presenting the difficult pasts of historical places in meaningful ways.

Table of Contents



1. Postwar Rebuilding and Coping with the Past

2. Four Documentation Centers – Histories

3. In the Shadow of Propaganda Architecture

4. Presenting Pasts through Architecture: Intellectual Framework

5. Formal Characteristics

6. Physical Traces

7. Designation

8. Memento



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Rumiko Handa is Professor of Architecture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA. She holds a Ph.D. in Architectural Theory from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.Arch. from the University of Tokyo. Her writings have appeared in: MAR Montreal Architecture Review; Interiors: Design, Architecture, Culture; The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians; Preservation Education & Research; Design Studies; and more. She co-edited Conjuring the Real: The Role of Architecture in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Fiction. She is also the author of Allure of the Incomplete, Imperfect, and Impermanent.