The relationship between memory and the House of Memory is not one of simple translation. Contemporary Milan does not possess a fixed, entirely shared memory that is ready to be carved in stone. Rather than considering the House of Memory as an expression of a shared memory, it would be better to consider it as a tool for discussing the different elements that coexist within the collective memory of the city. The House of Memory tries to provide a shelter for the various and varied memories that are woven not only into contemporary society, but also in the minds of individuals. Firm, long-term and habitually public memories thus coexist inside all of us with our own fleeting, delicate, personal memories. The collective memory, which is both abstract and impersonal, intermingles with the more personal dimension of memory made of humble gestures, anecdotes, and private rituals. Different styles of memory coincide in an object that is ready to establish a dialogue with different audiences without renouncing the possibility of constructing a unified picture. Thus a fixed stage set appears alongside changing scenery, thereby producing a machine of memory that is both complex and surprising, both slow and mutating, and both multiple and immovable. As an open and continuously updated archive, as a terrace open towards the city, the House of Memory is ready to play host to a multitude of informal and unforeseen uses. As a heavy, compact volume, the House of Memory also displays its inertia, choosing to remain a stumbling block left to hinder and repeat its own testimony. The House of Memory is a very simple building: it is a box with a rectangular base (20x35 m) that is 17.5 m high. Two thin strips along the building’s shorter ends—which house the archive (South), the restrooms (North) and the service stairs—are connected to a central area, one third of which stretches the full height of the building and hosts a large circular yellow staircase. This internal organization introduces a grander sense of scale into the building. Juxtaposed with the tight levels of the archive, the staircase and the offices acquire greater spaciousness; the visitor perceives a vaster, more solemn space.