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Death and Architecture - Promatorium Memorial

Part 1 Project 2013
Elvis Lagaj
Nottingham Trent University Nottingham UK
Nature deals with death so effortlessly and with the reinforcement of the idea that it is a natural part of life, people will be dealing with death in a more stimulating manner.

Throughout this bond with nature, death will be reconnected with society and become a part of the city.

The concept of the architecture is based on the new burial process of promession supporting the cycle of life and death. The study of what happens to the body throughout this process aided me in creating an architectural language for the building. This related intrinsically but subtly to the idea of providing solace whilst allowing the mourner to extend their journey and in essence the finality of the ‘good-bye’.

Remains may be interred as nutrients for individual planting. This will allow a ritual and spatial accommodation for the period of grief. Each planter is planted with a unique plant, which acts as an additional memorial and focus for grief. The plant can act as mediator between the bereaved and the deceased, Meaning there will be maintenance and care for it creating this link easing grieve.

Puncturing like crystals from the landscape are three elements, which mark the key movements within the funeral. ‘The Wakening’, where the journey starts, is a place that people mourn the loss yet celebrate the life, of the deceased with the family and friends. ‘The Chapel’, as it speaks of finality, also looks into the future. ‘The Memorial Tower’, after two years the remains would have fully decomposed, thus on the second anniversary of the death, the plant, symbolic of the person, is preserved symbolically holding a part of the deceased at their best.

Alongside this stands a glass memorial, containing a chip with the digital archive of photographs and letters amongst other data that reflects their life. The bereaved, as well as a passer-by, can access the information wirelessly. Similar to someone looking on a gravestone, to find the age of the deceased, to make a connection with the deceased, technology can make us better understand this connection and prolong their enriched memory.

Elvis Lagaj


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