A Cemetery Near the Sea
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Cemetery as a space that offers places for collective tombs is hardly seen in the history of China. More often it’s a family tomb or a single tomb owned by the emperor or his relatives that takes up enormous space on a mountain, which in a sense tells the power of the owner. For citizens, their tradition is to find their own tombs in the mountains. Some might also decide to bury themselves with their beloved one. This somehow become a remaining problem for the contemporary life for the fact that the act of individual without guidance would easily cause chaos and misbehaviour. As a consequence, the government started to set up suburban cemeteries, which is a completely new typology that exists in China. And the result is a highly effective space which is too full for people to stay in the cemetery. While the cemetery arranged by the government helps resolve the problem of randomness, it itself becomes a problem with its huge spanning space, destroying the landscape of mountains and affecting the community living in the suburban area. My proposal would work under this contemporary dilemma, providing a possible example for developing the cemetery in China in a different way - a cemetery that embraces the urban life, mourning spaces and nature. In the project, much effort is paid to create a place of calmness, where the landscape and the building integrate together. Beside the imagination of the cemetery, the proposal also investigates the ways to blend in with the context of the site - with an incomplete ancient city wall and a topography that tilting towards the sea. The result is a series of designs spanning from different scales, different themes that tangles together as an organic entity. The project is developed by my own interest in the cemetery as a neutral space to discuss the essential theme of human being, life and death, together with my inclination to explore an interdisciplinary approach. Hopefully, this project provides a convincing image for a poetic place for life and death.