London Physic Gardens

Sam Coulton


Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL


London Physic Gardens: A New Necropolis

#Death #Resomation #Blue #London #Garden

Inspired by Derek Jarman and Yves Klein’s blue monochromes the project is a proposal to introduce a necropolis and physic garden; in which our relationship with death is readdressed through the implementation of a botanical garden on the site, fed by the nutrient rich effluent water generated through the process.


Championing resomation as an alternative to cremation, this environmentally beneficial process allows us to see death as potentially something beautiful. It is hoped that through literally reflecting upon the previous inhabitants of London through the use of rain, river and resomation water on the site, we can begin to engage socially and politically with respect to the past and future.


Cyanotype (blue-printing) is employed throughout the site to colour the built fabric Prussian Blue and to pattern the shrouds worn by the deceased, with axonometric projections of the necropolis. (Functional) This blue dye is drawn from the shroud during resomation, colouring the effluent water, garden, building and river Thames. This ‘Blue Revolution’ (Yves Klein, 1958) also colours smog and rain, slowly colouring the entirety of London; forcing the city of the living to engage with the city of the dead.

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