A sanctum of narratives and memories

A sanctum of narratives and memories

Ujjayant Bhattacharyya
Thane, Maharashtra, India | View Map


Memorial spaces
Ujjayant Bhattacharyya

A Sanctum of Narratives and Memories

Ujjayant Bhattacharyya as Architects

The project is a Multi-faith cemetery whose intent and design is based upon core aesthetic, volumetric, phenomenological and ritualistic principles in an attempt to understand the cohesive inter-relationship between faith and sacred architecture. The site is in Thane, Maharashtra, India. The site sits along the banks of the river Ulhas. Thane is left with few places for burying the dead. Over 25 active proposals to repair and renovate crematoria in the city have been pending with the civic body for over two years. To meet the increasing demand of Thanekars for more burial grounds, the Design allots space to different communities and religious faiths. The design seeks to radically challenge the notions related to Architecture that deals with the future of death. The Design aims to simplify the basic interpretation of volumes for the four faiths involved, namely Hinduism, Islam, Christianity & Zoroastrianism with the help of narratives that transform the cemetery into a memorial. The objective is to create encounters, impressions and a narrative through various intangible and sacred phenomenon in perfect harmony with physical volumes. Repetitive and subtly relatable elements of form and processes, minimum characterization and volumetric narratives aid in framing a familiarized space that in turn eliminates the taboo and uncertainty behind the process of death. Instead, the space tends to compliment and the sublime and sacred nature of the event.
The Design intends to give birth to serene narrative environments. A Multi-faith Cemetery becomes an unusually beautiful case. A space that identifies holy perimeters where the soul coalesces with the celestial vastness. Pure forms illustrate ritualistic, sacred and spatial margins and become the mediums of exchange. The fact that death is to be dealt as an initiation for memory, and not as the end of all that is physical, is a key train of thought that can indeed bring about a change in perception of such spaces and precincts today. Smaller landscapes are utilized to generate a bigger context altogether. The design treats these landscapes as pavilions that do not appear physically exclusive. Pavilion 1 is the Hindu crematorium, Pavilion 2 acts as the Islamic complex on the site, pavilion 3 caters to the Christian faith & Pavilion 4 aligns with the Zoroastrian faith and their beliefs. Along with the spaces that are exclusively dictated by the rituals of each faith, A metaphorical aggregation occurs at the Museum of memories or the Pavilion 0. A speculative space where death is seen as a memory and not farewell.This volume isn’t a forced imposition of space but instead a space that is accessible by choice as an organic development of transitions, than a crafted consequence. The digital memorial inside the Pavilion allows the user to experience the accumulated/submitted digital footprint left behind by the departed. Pavilion 0 receives its elevations from the already tangible volumes that mark its surroundings. In order to preserve the relevance of the same, the built form is unbuilt, underground and absent from the line of vision

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