SHADOW [ES] SCAPE
CREMATORIUM // MEATPACKING DISTRICT, PIER 57, NEW YORK
Does shadow have the power to inform architecture? Shadow, in this case, is the projected architecture that constantly changes the perception of the visitor through the play of darkness, light, and reflection. In order to explore this question, we need to reorient ourselves within architectural space so we are not merely seeking shelter.
With an interest in the concept of dualism found in effects of shadow and reflection being just mere distortions, atmospheric effects of darkness, shadow, and reflection were studied in-depth and then used, to script the theatrics taking place inside the chosen program of Aqua-torium (water-based cremation)
To study these transformations different materials, lighting, and photographing strategies were used, which centered around how the apertures guide the path inside a space. Further, these results were collectively put to test in simple geometric volumes - of a cube and a prism, carefully cataloged. The catalog works as a foundation to create architectural spaces and conceptual linkages through the path of Pier 57, Meatpacking District, NY, the chosen site.
Architectural Sublime becomes the overall theme for the project which is achieved through the cumulative effect caused by the script derived from Hindu Temples, visual connections placed through cinematic sequences and art and the atmospheric effects evolved through word mapping. The Aquatorium becomes a giant aperture, working in reverse, projecting the outside world inside. Reminding the visitor about their stay - temporary.
Space is divided into three zones - Ceremony, Departure, and Worship
Which collectively become the progression through which the body and the visitor go through while dealing with death. The architecture manifests itself through linear gradation from -
- Noise of the city to Silence,
- Light to Darkness,
- Worldly attachments to Inner Self and,
- Bound (Tied down) to free
The placement of the entrance works to invite the urban fabric of the city. Meatpacking District being one of the highly-dense social areas in New York becomes an ideal site for the Aqua-torium to establish itself as a means to aid people to accept death and the funeral services as an independent civic program in the society.