San Michele, nicknamed The Island of the Dead, is the cemetery island in Venice, Italy. The cemetery is still in use today. However, due to shortage of space, as is the custom in many European countries, after a few years the dead are exhumed and stored in compact concrete ossuary boxes in another part of the cemetery. It’s depressing to know we’re all going into that ossuary box someday but it’s even more depressing to know that you’re forgotten by the world. See what people are afraid most is not death, but pain, not physically caused but mentally. How do you want your family or the world to remember you after you died, you body may be vanished, but how would you want your soul to be last forever.

The program of my project starts on the side of the island, where coffins from Gondolas are collected. Transferring to the  crematorium, the building crumbles, echos as if it’s the last song for you. In the heat of the fire, the body no longer exists but left only ashes. Ossuary box is your last home, carrying your soul to continue your journey. We all weigh differently but we all go to that place. The position is randomised by different weight, speed and the rotating of the plate holding the boxes. It’s an improvisational music our soul creates, a music box. The round plate rotates, each box touches it’s corresponding metal strip, sending the vibration to the organ to the far right of the image, pipes rumbles and roar. This time, the dead sings for the building.

They say we all lost 21g at the exact moment of our death, for which is the weight of our soul. But how much really does the our soul weigh?

Click on the images to view full size.


~ by mu on January 10, 2010.

3 Responses to “Cemetery”

  1. Don’t do it. Your project looks like so much more than great imagery and jazzy structures. What have you been talking with your instructors about? What about your classmates? What’s at the root? What’s the under lying ideas you used to derive the space? Start writing those things down and I’m sure something will surface. Personally, I think the 21g is a place to start. Write a poem or do something that takes you out of your Architectural creativity and tap into another type of creativity to find your answer.

    • May be it’s because english is not my native language so I really have the limitation of thinking and writing in english. You’re right, the problem is I don’t even know what I’m writing about, the ideas is deep in my mind somewhere and I can’t seem to grab it. This project is far from finished, it is merely a start point of looking for something, it is setting up a lot of questions rather than trying to solve them yet. And I believe that’s what I’m gonna do in my diploma study, hopefully I can find answers then.

      Well, the under lying idea is derived from another project which I’ll post later, it’s all about the interaction between different systems, how a first order relates a second one. Here in this project, it’s the human body, form, weight relates to mechanical music creation, I think.

  2. crazy nd highly inspiring stuff 🙂

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