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Dying for Life: A Metropolitan Facility for Disposing of the Dead in 30 Days

Part 1 Project 2020
James Hamilton
University of Lincoln | UK
Death is not the end but a contribution that gives energy to life. This project focuses philosophically on reviving the relationship between us and our world, whilst addressing the unsustainable nature of the UK’s current burial system. The chosen site is on the South Bank in London where a river of life contrasts against the stark nature of the design; A vertical cemetery, using new technology that transforms a body into soil in 30 days. Through contrasts, the aim is to normalise against the western nature of death being a taboo. One of the oldest depictions of what happens after life is the Underworld from the Ancient Greek culture. Throughout the detailed landscape I drew parallels to grief mechanisms and created a sensitivity in my design to aid the grievance process. A celebration of life and memorialisation is encapsulated through several atria which directly contrast quiet reflection rooms, all stemming from a spine of ‘Recomposition’ chambers. A constant process that feeds warmth back through the building because of exothermic decay.

Death brings soil, and soil brings life through an elysian seasonal forest running underneath the floating cemetery and elongating through the atria as terrariums made from loved ones.

James Hamilton

Doina Carter
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