bachelor of architectural studies
THE ABSENCE OF IDENTITY
Hart Island is the final resting place for those of New York who are from a low socio-economic status or not claimed by family members. The Hart Island Hope Memorial aims to re-orient the perspective of Hart Island as a place of forgotten souls and assimilate its identity with that of the culturally rich and diverse setting of New York City.
The mortuary is an underground structure below four monolithic atria towers, signifying the historical missiles. The design is a blank expression of concrete and glass, whilst the atria’s sunlight balances the solemn materials, expressing the presence of absent narratives through a space of preparing and storing those lost.
The memory mausoleum forms an interconnection between architecture and landscape that bridges between a physical space and a metaphysical domain to ensure those buried will endure. The burial mounds continue the systematic numerical system; copper plaques symbolise those buried below, and steel plaques symbolise new burials. The mausoleum is a space of mourning and reflection that is environmentally conscious and emotionally peaceful and impactful.
The Ellen Torron memory space is a muted neutral environment of polished concrete to allow visitors to reflect in harmony with water as it is figuratively and literally symbolic of water. The design aims to promote feelings of isolation and loneliness that mimic the emotion of Ellen; feeling alone and afraid in a big city.