Landscapes for Death and Living
Landscapes for Death and Living_Alison Killing
The challenge of designing for the architecture of death, according to architectural historian Ken Worpole is that it ‘has both to remind us of the longevity of memory and human culture, as well as the brevity of the individual human life.’ In these four cemetery projects the design of the surrounding landscape and the integration of that into the building are common strategies for responding to this question. What is striking finally is how full of life these buildings are. The plants and landscape design are key to the experience, while these places are also designed very much around the visitors and their needs. The end result is a series of places that are about the dead, but for the living and full of life. This article features David Chipperfield Architects’ new visitor centre and chapel at Inagawa Cemetery, near Osaka, Japan; Alvaro Siza’s Chia Ching Mausoleum, at Chin Pao San Cemetery, in New Taipei City in Taiwan; Siesegem Crematorium, in Aalst, northern Belgium by KAAN Architecten; and Tadao Ando’s Hill of the Buddha at Makomanai Takino Cemetery in Sapporo, Japan.
Architecture and Community Belonging
Architecture and Community Belonging_Ana Souto
The architecture scene of the last few decades has been monopolised by buildings that do not sit comfortably within their contexts: the main goal of these structures was to rebrand cities, regions and even countries to the expense of diluting local identities. Moreover, these iconic insertions in the built environment did not respond to the needs of the local communities, but to the expectations of temporary users. The buildings that occupy this section offer a completely different approach: they contribute to an architecture of belonging, that establishes a dialogue with its context, its topography, its history and the needs of its community. There are community centres which celebrate the concept of civic and engaged architecture, that shelter the development of social encounters; there are also two arts and congress centres which, not only contribute to the local economy, their architectural quality also shapes new identities, and ultimately, a sense of pride and belonging. These projects reveal a number of commonalities, not only as a result of their civic manifestoes, but also from a design point of view: a careful selection of vernacular and familiar qualities, shapes and scales are combined with contemporary approaches to materiality, lighting and construction. Ultimately, they have all become social landmarks, anchors that support local communities and their contexts.