My concept was initially inspired by the closure of Heaton Hall, a neglected grade I listed building situated in Heaton Park, Manchester. As a local to the park I have an attachment to the building and I wanted to safeguard and secure its future by opening the doors and letting the public back in.
My other research was of the protagonist. On a visit to the cemetery I had a feeling of disconnection with the place but not people already gone. I noticed that the way we lay people to rest and remember them had changed little over the years. Headstones adorned with gifts, ornaments, cards and photographs; a display of love and a sense of storytelling from the people left behind.
This led me to the concept of my design.
An interior cemetery to inter ashes in an alternative form in an ethereal installation within an existing building associated with beauty and grandeur.
To create a physical environment which evokes an empathetic response of understanding and acceptance of loss, a ‘pathway of grief’.
A visual archive which stores digital information of the deceased, creating a unique and contemporary database. Collating information to reveal past lives for personal insight and comfort for relatives and historical context for future generations.
A building of history and age could be home to our personal histories too.