Bridging Life and Death

Name team member 1: Coco van Weelden

Nationality: Dutch

Company: van Weelden de Wilde


Name team member 2: Paul de Wilde

Nationality: Dutch

Company: van Weelden de Wilde


Bridging life and death

An offering to acceptance






Bridging life and death‘ critically reacts on our seemingly forgotten relationship between life and death. It symbolically closes the gap with an architectural gesture that naturally has the ability to connect: a cemetery bridge in the vibrant heart of London. The cemetery challenges the notion of merely housing the dead, by spiritually guiding the visitor towards acceptance.


Emotions make us mere human and at times of great loss, we grief. Bringing oneself back to the world of the living requires going through an emotional journey through 5 phases of grief: depression, isolation, negotiation, anger, and acceptance. The bridge offers each phase a spatial translation.


The following text describes the experience of the rituals around the first phase of the journey: depression.

By boat we cross the river towards the cylindrical column. We immerse the world of the dead. High interior walls covered with a continuous grid of urns surround the central arena where the service takes place. After the ceremony we circle the slope and pay our final tribute when we cover the urn with dozens of gold leaves. For him the journey has come to an end. For us it marks the beginning of our journey towards acceptance.



Minquan Wang China Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
Xiyao Wang China Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates


Monument of Everyone

Chongqing People’s Square Memory Depository


#possession #identity #zeitgeist #sharingmemory #coexist


Dear Madame,


We are sorry for your loss.


While we share your grief for the passing of your husband, we feel obliged to write in confirmation of his enrollment in the Chongqing Memory Depository project, to which he applied on Aug 21, 2037 with you as his designated fiduciary.


The Depository issues each applicant a container measured 2000x1000x700, as a storage unit of one’s chosen personal belongings. The applicant would curate his selection for what he holds dear, and what he wishes to be remembered with.


Compared to earth burial, we believe this to be a humane alternative to retain the identity of the deceased, and to share his story with the city. The Archive will exhibit the storage units of participants passing during the latest five-year period, with random rotation, on the surface of People’s Square. Your husband’s life will become part of the city’s collective image for everyone to reflect upon.


After the exhibition period, your husband’s storage unit will be delivered to the storage levels underground by his passing date. To revisit his unit in the private memorial space along the Square’s axis, please make a reservation at:


Sincere condolences,


Chongqing Memory Depository


Aug 31, 2044

Light After Life

TITLE:            Light After Life

Subtitle:         individual legacy amidst collective constellations


Hashtags:      #mourninglights #deathinalivingcity #memoryconstellation #enduringenergycycles #enlightenedremembrance




Our bodies are one temporary form within enduring energy cycles.

We are composed of universal elements.


Beyond employing dangerous chemicals and environmentally stressful processes, most mortuary and funerary practices hesitate to honor the cyclical and organic nature of life. Bodily remains are often unnaturally preserved, their inevitable decomposition addressed with denial. In reality, bodies are rich sources of biomass – energy that can be converted in a manner that is both respectful to the living city and a fitting tribute of past individuality.


“Light After Life” proposes a meandering parkway which holds a constellation of serially reusable funerary vessels.  Through controlled anaerobic bio-conversion, decomposition of the corpse is accelerated and biogas that is naturally produced during the process is gathered to fuel a discrete ‘mourning light’ that waxes and wanes during the organic conversion.


As these civic-sacred spaces are woven into the fabric of the city, sites become meaningful urban spaces that invite engagement, reflection, and remembrance. The memorial landscape breathes new life into underutilized urban infrastructures and provides public space for mourning, relaxation, meditation, and play.  Simultaneously, humanity’s place within the natural cycles of the planet is confirmed, and the power, transience, and elements of all life are honored.


NAME: Carlo Alberto

SURNAME: Guerriero








The “Live Cemetery” is the prototype of a new architectural typology that has as its purpose the total distortion of the traditional concept of cemetery. By hybridizing the function of library and cemetery it is intended to provide a completely new place for the memory of the dead, shifting attention to existence and life rather than to what remains of the body. In fact, the “Live Cemetery” does not have lawns and tombstones, but has shelves and books of which the authors themselves are the dead. Each book collects the stories and memories of what has been during life and is therefore unique, exactly as each existence is unique.

In the “Live Cemetery” the dead are precious both for their family members and for the whole community, because for better or for worse every existence is a formidable resource from which to draw infinite life experiences. It would be possible to come across incredible stories that can inspire theatrical or cinematographic works, or in simple reflections, in funny jokes, in unimaginable secrets, in outlandish ideas.

The “Live Cemetery” is a place where the living and the dead meet and know each other freely, overcoming the barrier between life and death through writing.

Sunken Bodies

Coen van Bergeijk



Sunken Bodies

Remembrance in a post-body world


#refugees #crisis #Mediterranean #underwater #cemetery


Since 2014 over 12.500 people have drowned in the Mediterranean. Trying to reach our shores, many perish in the unforgiving waves. No monument is erected for these nameless victims of mass migration, no tombstone placed, no names carved in stone. We live in a world where death becomes increasingly anonymous. The deceased remain nameless. The world discards the individual and remembers the masses.

This proposal tries to give sustenance to the memory of these poor souls who have given up everything for a dream cut short. Underwater, fields of nameless tombstones are placed in orderly rows. Side by side, like fallen soldiers, they become vast cemeteries for no one to see.

Institute For The Ghosts Of Essex

Studio Moon

Team Member One: Eglé Packauskaite

Nationality: Lithuanian

Institution: University of Greenwich

Company: Tarkett and Desso

Team Member Two: Sarah Aisling Brooke

Nationality: British

Institution: University of Greenwich


The Institute for the Ghosts of Essex

Spirits Among Us

#ghost #mourning #remembrance #burial #cemetery

The Institute for the Ghosts of Essex is a journey for the living and the deceased. Epping Forest is a site of loss; approximately 30 unidentified bodies are found each year; unidentified, left and lost. The institute is a home for the forgotten dead, whose bodies are examined in a mortuary. All evidence is collected and carefully stored for future identification. Every person is given a burial rite in the memorial chamber in accordance with spiritual rituals that help the unidentified soul leave the physical body and move into the ethereal. The ‘building’ embodies this ethereal place, its architecture mimics life itself through translating the occupant’s movements into a spectacle full of presence; physical or nonmaterial. The body’s journey ends in the forest, their resting place being beside an existing tree that acts as the person’s burial marker. The institute is a place of remembrance, with extensive archives held in hopes the public can identify their lost ones. It is a place of mourning and comfort that comes with laying one’s dear ones to rest. Here, the dead are found not to haunt, but to be found by, the living. And stay if they wish.

Woodland house of recomposition

Anna Sophie






Slumstrup Petersen




Woodland House of Recomposition

Becoming nature in death


Death and dying has been neglected in our rapid technological and social advancement: Worldwide urban cemeteries are almost filled up and the increasing number of non-religious orientated turn to the stark practicality of cremation – which in turn pollute our air and rarely address people’s grief adequately. The Woodland House of Recomposition is the first of its kind, integrating a safe and efficient decomposition process of our deceased, in a religiously neutral building offering space for both ceremonies, counseling, grief, memorial, and spirituality. In the heart of the Woodland House of Recomposition lies the Decomposition Chamber. The chamber is a closed eco-system controlling oxygen-supply, temperature, and moisture for the deceased to fully compost in only six weeks. Hereafter the compost is gently relocated to provide nourishment for depleted topsoil in our forests, parks, and other green areas. Thereby, people are given the opportunity to positively affect the world even in death by eliminating the consequences of taking up precious urban land and harming the environment. Enveloping the Decomposition Chamber, the Mourning Hall serves as a calm, embracing environment where both individuals and families in grief can mourn and remember the ones who are laid to rest in this building.










Growing Memories

Luz Albaladejo Falcó, Spanish

Alba María Penalva Aledo, Spanish

Raquel Pérez Belmonte, Spanish

Darío Vilana Palomina, Spanish

Asunción Díaz García and Andrés Martínez Medina as tutors from the University of Alicante.


Growing memories

A proposal to bring stories and people


#Phasesofgrief  #Naturaltherapies #Frompublictointimate  #Environmentalawarness   #Site-device-peson


Death, understood as something closer, celebrates life; for this reason we want all those affected to live this mourning as part of a process that is included in our project. This helps to pass through all these stages and encompasses their different scales and approaches.


We all have the right to be buried, to be honored by our loved ones and to be remembered, although each person is different, and suffers a loss in a different way, linked to the culture that surrounds them. More introspective, family and even festive bonds are all valid.


These three scales of proximity bring us closer to the environment and its nature, so that this flexible project must be rooted to the place and, therefore, to its people. Random routes, of enjoyment, of connection and/or relationship between people, their environment and those buried.


We link the deceased person to a plant, a flower that is part of the person’s identity, and that is also linked to therapeutic methods for the people who remain. Essential oils, aromatherapy, Bach flowers, sounds and various technologies to honor the person, remember and accompany loved ones in this process and establish other relationships between them and the deceased.


Inverse Void

Alison Huo, China, University of Toronto, Daniels Faculty of Architecture


Ben Chang, Taiwan, University of Toronto, Daniels Faculty of Architecture


Shengjie Qiu, China, University of Toronto, Daniels Faculty of Architecture


Title: Inverse Void

Subtitle: A Landscape Cemetery


#landscapecemetery #belowgrade #circularplan #upsidedown #dyingproject




The Inverse Void is a story that portrays the multiplicity of the buried dead, and the unitive nature of death itself.


Beyond the conventional means of a resting ground for the dead, the Inverse Void is a cemetery for the living. Take a traditional cemetery and flip it upside-down. The result is a burial ground above and a space of ontological contemplation below.


The visitors would embark on an existential journey through a ramp that descends gradually throughout the circumference of the cemetery. The Inverse Void brings the living below ground to experience the emptiness and solitude of the Void. The expansive space below is softly lit up through the array of skylights, each marking the death of an individual.


The burial ground is an inverted island floating above the Void. The relationship between the living and the dead are reversed, as to reposition one’s point of view towards life and death. What bridges the two polarizing concepts is an ascending staircase from the land of the living to the dead, giving positive attributes to the nature of life and its inevitable cessation. It is a humble reminder of the Heideggerian idea of our constant being-towards-death.

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