AbstractsGeography &GIS

Urban Crematoria: Reinventing the Architecture of Death

by Monica Sarker

Institution: University of Washington
Year: 2016
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2072494
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1773/36395


Currently, the environment of death in the United States that support the infrastructures of cremation remain disjointed from the urban landscape. Cremation and its associated spaces serve both utilitarian and spiritual means, but suffer from a lack recognizable spatial characteristics that allow for a wide variety of funerary rites to be performed within them. Taking inspiration from different global funerary customs and rituals, this thesis posits that there is a fundamental social need to reintroduce ceremony and urban vitality to cremation spaces. The thesis reevaluates the prevailing trend of separating the living and the dead, and instead argues for bringing cremation to the forefront of urban space, merging landscapes of committal and contemplation. Eschewing a traditional design approach, different elements such as urban and visually prominent vertical columbaria are proposed to allow death to be more readily contemplated and recognized throughout the urban landscape. The aim of the new typology of crematorium design aims to begin a positive dialogue on death across cultures in the urban environment of Seattle. Advisors/Committee Members: Nicholls, Jim (advisor).