Raleigh Memorial Chapel and Gardens. Spring Studio.
Presence of Death in the City: Providing Space and Ritual for the Living.
How are we to deal with death and with the dead?
Historically, cultures have dealt with this question in a variety of ways in both the methods of disposal of the body and the memorialization and rituals of the dead. Indeed the most significant and earliest architectures were tombs and passage-graves such as the Barnenez, France 4800 BC. With the advancement of technology and cerebral intelligence, our attitudes towards death have become commercialized, mechanistic, and lack the depth of meaning rituals once provided.
This project hopes to reclaim meaningful space in the city by providing opportunities for ritual activities and reflections on the dead as an inspiration for the living. The ritual activities highlights both the physical bodies return to nature and represent the return of the soul/spirit to a spiritual realm.
Presence of nature and connections to cycles of life, the seasons, create meaningful moments of reflections and reminders of our link to the natural world.
The garden, a memorial to death itself, provides connections to the dead and new lenses into the adjacent cemetery.
Silent and filled with light. Pause, solace and inspiration. Authentic and raw, with oneself a connection with the giver of life the sun and light above. A celebration can now commence.
They create a place integrated with daily life to renew and remind the meaning of our existence and imbue us with conviction to dedicate our fullest attention to each day.