The archives in North Rhine-Westphalia preserve the written cultural heritage. Its holdings range from medieval documents to digital documents of modern times.
The NRW State Archive presents a monumental, brick-red figure to the A40 motorway and to the inner harbour of Duisburg. The existing granary building was augmented by the construction of an archive tower at its centre. The archive material of the state can now be housed in a strikingly visible way. The openings and roof surfaces of the existing granary were closed and the new storage tower distinguishes itself from the old brick structure by the use of fine ornaments. The building provides space for archive material on shelving with a total length of 148 kilometres.
The archive building permanently preserves the documents of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, accordingly the building design aims at stabilising the climatic system and protecting resources. The long-term archiving provided here is reflected by the building’s robust design that conveys a sense of permanence.
North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state of Germany, with a population of approximately 18 million, and the fourth largest by area. Its capital is Düsseldorf; the most populous city is Cologne. Four of Germany’s ten largest cities—Cologne, Düsseldorf, Dortmund, and Essen—are located within the state, as well as the largest metropolitan area on the European continent, Rhine-Ruhr.
North Rhine-Westphalia was formed in 1946 as a merger of the provinces of North Rhine and Westphalia, both formerly parts of Prussia, and the Free State of Lippe. The state has been run by a coalition of the Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens since 2010.