Architecture and Morality
As population numbers increase and the big metropolitans expand, cemeteries still occupies great areas of city space. Depending on when and where the grave was built it can still be there in 25-50 year or even forever.
Today the funeral and the funeral act are problematic and can be viewed as old fashioned.
The cremation is currently the most common procedure, even though we know it’s not sustainable, using fossil fuel and poison the soil.
Therefore I find the new method of laying the dead to rest, Promession interesting. It is an environmentally friendly form of burial that takes full consideration of the biological realities to which a corpse is subjected.
The method is based upon preserving the body in a biological form after death, while avoiding harmful embalming fluid. Then it can be returned to the ecological cycle in a dignified manner.
The main principle of this ecological form of burial is that the corpse is transformed into an organic, odourless, hygienic powder. This, in combination with a dedicated method to separate contaminants sharply reduces impact on the environment in comparison with today’s forms of burial.
The soil gets a contribution as the body transforms into mulch.
The coffin and its contents are transformed into mulch in about six-twelve month, thus becoming an important contribution to the living earth. In this way, ecological burial does not add to eutrophication of the seas via ground water or run-off, and vital drinking water is spared. Since the remains do not cause any impact on the environment, theoretically it would be possible to place gravesites freely; in the home, on family property or on green spaces in the city.
While 70 percent of the body is water and reduces within the procedure the coffin is much smaller than it used to be in a traditional casket funeral.
Therefore it takes up less space. And the fast recycling makes it possible to reuse the spot in a year or even faster. The depth of the grave should be around 40 cm, witch claims less of the soil and make more areas useful. This procedure could make it possible to have the cemetery in the cities, combining green spaces with contemplative spaces and cemeteries.
Could it also be possible to use promession in all religions?
Further on could it be possible to create a chapel or a room for farewell in connection to this facility without religious symbols or a room with such flexibility that makes it applicable for non-religious till all religions?
With inspiration and studies from clean geometrical aesthetic, tectonic treatment of materials and the great knowledge of sequences in rooms I would like to develop a concept of Promession in the city.
It is about the city structure, in its context, the flexible room for farewell and the possibility for developing a sustainable procedure for death.
A lifestyle change is needed, a rethinking of the way we build and rebuild cities and planning green spatial. Sustainability is not just about creating new energy or passive houses; it is also a lifestyle changing and a creative way of thinking about the city both for living and the dead.
My goal is to develop an idea for sustainable burials in the city.