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Pilgrimage - Cremation within the Dene

Part 1 Project 2022
Tom Kenneth William Durham
Northumbria University Newcastle | UK
Jesmond Dene has been a key location for historic pilgrimage in Europe. The Pilgrimage crematorium is embedded in the religious, industrial and public history of the Dene, using the urban and free-form grain to inform the site master plan. Water is key throughout the project, from Aquamation to guiding the procession through the ceremony. Water, a prevalent symbol in many religions, represents reflection and purification. In Christianity Aquamation is a powerful representation of the circle of life, from baptism to cremation.

The spaces are designed from the perspective of the principal mourner, unfolding in the rendering techniques. The world takes on a dreamlike quality, people regaining clarity as the mourner returns to the memorial site. The level of formality and break zones help to denote a space’s use and level of focus the visitor requires; from open walls to directed framed landscapes.

The Ceremony Hall and The Book room are given equal importance. Pilgrimage follows the five stages of grief. The funeral is a point in time, acceptance takes many years; this is the pilgrimage. Focusing equally on returning mourners, the site interacts as a living, ever- changing memorial to the dead, the water garden progressing beside the individual’s grief.

Tom Kenneth William Durham


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