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Pitsford Street Crematorium, Jewellery Quarter

Part 1 Project 2007
Andrew Hassell
Birmingham City University Birmingham UK
Using a contemporary notion of ruin and fragmentation, evocative of death and the process of decay, the existing building's portal frame is stripped to its skeletal form, setting the grid for formal rules of shifting in plan and section thus creating a hierarchical route through the site.

The overlaid matrix of grids bleeds into and connects the two adjacent cemeteries becoming a language informing both architecture and landscape. An uncontrolled vegetation growth pattern matures over time, forever evolving.

The architecture is sculpted Corten-clad concrete that will bleed, stain and decay. Inside a subtle play of light and shadow creates an atmospheric contrast between harshness and peace.

Andrew Hassell


Set in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter Andrew treated an extant industrial portal frame as ruined fragment of a passing utilitarian order. He has (re)constructed a rich language of architecture and landscape that celebrates the time cycle of change, decay and renewal in a proposal for a crematorium and memorial gardens. This extends both to the palette of materials – concrete, gold leaf and rusty metal – and to the repertoire of formal moves – layering, cuts, shifts, folds – that bring order and scale to the treatment of the large site, as well as controlling the sculptural process of moulding and enclosing space.

2007
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