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Cycles of death and memory : creating a modern funeral home Gillis, Leigh-Anne 1998

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CYCLES OF DEATH AND MEMORY Creating A Modern Funeral Home by LEIGH-ANNE GILLIS B.A., (Hons)., McGill University, 1994 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARCHITECTURE in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES School of Architecture We accegUhisThesis/a"s conjorm/ng t$> the^pegpired standard The University Of British Columbia January 1998 © Leigh-Anne Gillis 1998 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) Abstract: Within the context of the naturalness to which all life thrives, this thesis is concerned with the life-cycle of both humans paralled with building life as part and parcel of the other. Just as life cannot be perceived as a once through pipeline, buildings in the same breath cannot just simply be discarded without notions to how buildings can be designed differently. This is directly related to how North American society approaches the notion of the life cycle, death and the space which surrounds the disposition of the dead. The first half of this project uncovered the origins of the Canadian funeral home, the basis of the funeral home type, from the inception in the United States and Canada via a domestic Victorian precedent to the present day image. Through following funerary architecture evolution in Canada it has been surmised that it is the essence of society's funerary traditions and rituals which underpin the funeral home's space. This project expands on the spatial procession common to the Canadian funeral home as a tool to realize an alternative to architectural design. Although allowing the essence and needs of the funeral ritual to redefine the Canadian funeral home type. The project site at 100 Powell street, is located on the corner of Columbia street. Currently the old Oppenheimer building remains on half of the old land. Recently renovated it provides an in fill space that is presently acting as the parking lot for the old Oppenheimer building. The only ruminants on the project site is a two storey brick facade, as well as the three outer walls of the now demolished building. This project particularly uses the layers of time built into the site, the layers of history uncovered through research, and the knowledge of what presently exists on site. Thus it is the content of funerary space that I have uncovered in the directed studies that is extracted and played with to give form to a new urban in fill space. A space which rises out of the ruins of the old as well as reunites the surrounding relics. Table of Contents Abstract: jj Table of Contents: iii Acknowledgement: iv List Of Figures: Figure #1: Drawings manipulated from Original Plans 1 Figure #2: Site Plan: City Map of Gastown site 2 Figure #3: Plan 1: Underground Celebration Space 3 Figure #4: Plan 2: Ground Entry and Gathering Space 4 Figure #5: Plan 3: Second Level Offices and Caskets 5 Figure #6: Plan 4: Third Level Visitation Rooms 6 Figure #7: Long Section 7 Figure #8: Short Section 8 Figure #9: Perspectives: Casket and Donations Wall 9 Figure #10: Perspectives: Main Entry Looking to Gathering Space and Underground Celebration Hall 10 Figure #11: Perspective: Powell Street Facade, Gastown 11 Figure #12: Powell Street Facade Figure #13: View Of Building From The Back 12 Figure #14: View Of Old Brick Interior Face Figure #15: Above View From The Front Light wells Drawing Light Into The Interior Spaces 13 Figure #16: Conceptual Model For In Fill Design Figure #17: Sectional Model Short Cut Through Building Relating Light And Material Figure #18: Sectional Model View Of Interior 14 Acknowledgements: Many words of thanks to my mentors: Ron Walkey for his 'delicious' ideas and wisdom, Bill Pechet for his enthusiasm and teachings, and a special Cheers to Ray Cole for his infinite knowledge, guidance and support. Not forgetting Laurie Hepper my organizer and sounding board, Sonja Carel, John Schupp, Lucia Sakhrani, Jonathan Dewdney, Kyle Lewkowich, Paula Ferracuti, Derek Breen and Robin Muxlow for helping me to the finish line. Much thanks to Ron 'Obvious' Vermeulen for almost running me over, but inviting me in, Bryan Adams for his hospitality, Duane Elverum for the subtleties, Denise Fullylove for all her assistance and Nettwerk for the technical support. Finally special thanks to my family for the unique childhood and colourful life and death experiences, Nesta for her little notes, and to Tim for never letting me lose sight of my dreams... iv Figure#1 1 Figure#3 3 Figure #4 Figure #5: 5 Figure #6: 6 Figure #7: 7 9 Figure #13: 12 Figure #15: Figure #16: 


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