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urban necropolis

The architect must first become the user so the user can become the architect of experience.

On an abandoned parcel of land adjacent to the Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix this mausoleum proposal celebrates the rich history of land in a generic and specific way. The Urban Necropolis is an extreme case of presence and absence of life. This presence|absence dichotomy (of an event) plays an important role in encouraging a personal reinterpretation of the user's experiences, or memories. The presence|absence of the sun, the rain, and the jet, for example, are bracketed through the use of frames, hinges, and tracks (the devices) to ultimately engage the user's memory and encourage a reinterpretation of a past event.

The devices used in the Urban Necropolis are: the gate, the bridge, the armature, the chapel door, the wall of separation, the cart, the lift, the canopy, the symbol for the body, the oratories, the house for the cart and lift, the pond, the pavilion, the orange grove, and the wash. These programmatic choices have resulted from the interface between two distinct sets of personal experiences : the ritual of the program and the found objects of the site. The conventional treatment of a cemetery has been imbued by a dichotomy between these two sets of experiences, resulting in a reinterpretation of each. In other words, the program has informed atypical interventions on this type of site, while the site has informed a new expression of this type of program. The user, by experiencing the event, is pulled off the interpreted path and left only to reinterpret the significance of this dichotomy.

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