the last tower
...a ship fueled by hundreds of urns just waiting to lift off.
A vision of an afterlife in the clouds, structure so subtle in contrast to the heaviness of the death and naturally ageing environment closer to human life. All of these were (pre)visions to my columbarium. I am answering a question of a supremacy of cremation in the Czech Republic and I offer an alternative to regular columbarium, sometimes burdened by inhospitality. The Last Tower. A tower assembled from wooden beams and columns in a traditional way of building wooden structures in Europe. Each structural element (4 crossings of beams and columns) forms a space for the urn. In other words the urn is a basic structural element of the tower. In order to maintain a longevity of the whole tower, the shell has to be completely water resistant. I am using a cladding of burned cedar planks frequently used in Japan called shou sugi ban or even in Switzerland to preserve the wood. On the ground floor are situated all the required facilities and the rest of the volume is filled only by urns and alleys for bereaved. Visitors are slowly ascending on the dark staircase enlightened only by the lights hidden in the handrails and urns. The only source of daily light is located on the top, which creates a symbolism of a climbing to the light / sky as a last pilgrimage for the deceased.
studio blog: prokopmatej.blogspot.com
at CTU in Prague, 2016
led by Ondřej Císler and Miroslav Pazdera