What is the meaning of death? What was death in the past? What is death in the contemporary context? Death, as a subject of human fascination since primitive times, has had the power to fascinate, destroy, inspire, corrupt, litter and beautify. It is a topic wrought with dichotomy and rich meaning that deserves to be studied, and in turn, to be enhanced and supported through the design of interior space.
Currently, in North America, complacency overwhelms our death-care industry, where deathspaces lack meaning, innovation and sensorial significance. This practicum project aims to address the phenomenological role of the interior in enlivening and bringing rich meaning to deathspaces in the 21st century context.
As death is an unavoidable aspect of the human condition, the importance in creating alternatives to existing typologies is pertinent. In the form of an urban cemetery complex and columbarium, this project challenges the traditional cemetery typology where it is re-imagined and enhanced through the interiors perspective. The cemetery is re-envisioned, as it once was, as an integral part of the urban fabric; a strong sense of place is therefore activated through human interaction with interior space.
The aim of this practicum project is to design a non-sectarian death space; a space that breaks open the barriers currently placed on grief, echoing and supporting the dichotomy and gravity of loss in the contemporary context.