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Mitford Castle Crematorium: A Journey of Mourning

Part 1 Project 2020
Alexander Mackay
Northumbria University Newcastle | UK
Mitford Castle Crematorium redefines the role of a crematorium in the modern era so there is an equal relationship between the functional and the philosophical aspects of the programme. Whilst meeting the physical requirements of the programme, the building focuses the mourners experience around the landscape of Mitford Castle, so that the mourner is separated from the everyday and is able to process their loss. This separation is made physical through a threshold that symbolises that the mourner has stepped into a landscape for mourning.

The building is formed around a spatial journey that takes the mourner through procession, ceremony, mortuary and contemplation to make up the key spaces that allow the mourner to grieve. This journey is expressed through an architectural language of vaulted arches and thick brickwork that is inspired by the pre-existing ruins of Mitford Castle. The language explores both a spatial hierarchy which takes mourners through spaces of grandeur or intimacy and a material permanence which explores the functional and aesthetic requirements of the programme.

Alexander Mackay


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