From Necropolis to Metropolis: Bringing Death Back into Urban Life
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This thesis seeks to explore the changing attitudes towards death through the design of funerary architecture that is resting place, processing facility, and public amenity. A new hybrid typology combining aspects of the cemetery and columbarium is proposed, housing the dead in a way that is dense, temporal, and creates moments of exchange between the presence and absence of life. The Ouroboros Project seeks to re-evaluate death in the urban environment, to continue the communal nature of the city in the memorial of the necropolis, and to be a generative force for the improvement of the civic landscape. The project utilizes a new more ecological process known as resomation to propose an alternative system for the disposition and memorialization of the dead. Resomation is far more energy efficient than traditional cremation and the powdered remains can be collected in an urn for scattering or memorialization, while the remaining organic matter can be processed using biofiltration for horticultural use. This potential to grow plant life plays a key role in the mission of the new typology, reimagining death as part of a larger process of growth and renewal. Those left behind will be given the option of taking the ashes to scatter, interment of their loved one in the columbarium light wells, and/or selection of a seedling from the memorial garden for donation to the city parks or to take home as a personal reminder.
- Architecture