Columbiarium on the Water

Columbiarium on the Water

The site of this project is far out into the Chao Phraya river in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand. Being out in the river, one of the objectives was to design a thing, devoid of influence from its immediate surroundings.

This is a columbarium, a place for funerary urns to be stored.

This is a field, standing alone, valuably imperfect.

With no context to draw from, the design from the field begins with spatial allotments for individual and family urns. Individual urn spaces are 2'x2'x2', whereas Family urns were given 3'x3'x3'. Before each is a 1' gap, symbolizing the ethereal gap between the living and those lost. The visitor space matches the footprint of the urn space, and there is 6' beyond each allocated for circulation.

Urn spaces were organized in a linear fashion and combined to ensure that no urn faces another. A module was developed, and it was repeated across the site. The resulting field is striated and separated, following the natural flow of the Chao Phraya River.

An imperfection exists in the form of a long, angular, continuous strike through the heart of the field. Reacting to this, there opened four triangular pockets that were captured for the use of the groundskeeper, an office, or whatever else might be needed. Four pyramids. The pyramid is among the original archetypes of funerary design. From a great distance, they tell an observer that this is a place of mourning and remembrance. 

Below the "ground" plane, inside the pyramids, is an opportunity for more privatized urn housing. This development came up very late in the project, so it is only noticeable in Section B.

Below are photos from the 1/8" = 1'-0" model.