The building was the final stage of the scheme and in a sense, the culmination of the analysis of my object and the device. The cemetery in itself is a collective archive of those that have passed on. It provides a point of reference for those still alive to return to. As with the flower, the cemetery deals with the cycle of life and memories, and is a threshold space where life and death meet. I wanted to create a space where visitors could come and contemplate, be on their own if they so wished, or with others. It is a cemetery for the ashes and mementos of those that have passed on.
Santiago de Compostela in Spain is extremely important to those of the Catholic faith. Since the ninth century, pilgrims have arrived on foot, their focus being the cathedral, an archive in a way for the relics of St. James.
There is a very strong spirituality that exists in the town. Therefore, I wanted visitors to make their own pilgrimage to the cemetery, which is a secular one, allowing anyone who wishes to use the space. This enables people to come from afar with ashes or mementos, which are portable. I am in essence borrowing from what already exists in the town translating it to suit my scheme.
The site itself is a strip of land that sits right outside the town center. It creates a kind of gulf between it and the town due to its positioning and size. From it, one can look back at the town of Santiago with the cathedral in the distance. Due to the actual site, the scheme concentrated heavily on the issues of landscape. I wanted my insertion to be part of the landscape as much possible. I have tried to allow the landscape to shape my scheme and my ideas for the scheme shape the landscape. I have taken reference from what already existed on and around the site, as well as the cultural context the scheme finds itself in. For example, the Spanish have a tradition of burying their dead above ground and this influenced the way in which the urns would be stored.
I make reference to the Cathedral, that can be seen from the site, by facing the secular chapel toward it. The vernacular architecture of the monasteries that surround the site influenced the use of the slate in order to clad the concrete retaining wall that runs the length of the site. Making reference to my device is the element of water that runs through the site as well as the fact the order of the elements in the scheme relate to the order of the elements in the device, which in turn make reference back to the hierarchy of the flower.
In conclusion, there are three main elements that run throughout the project, from the flower to the device and finally the building scheme. These are the hierarchy of growth and structure, the idea of singular repeated elements that create a whole and metaphors for life and death.