unisa architecture and interior architecture annual exhibition 2021


Jacob Nunes-Vaz

bachelor of architectural studies

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From the moment we die our bodies begin to decompose. And despite our best efforts to prevent or slow it down, this process is inevitable. The mortuary on Hart Island embraces the inevitability of decomposition by encouraging this process. Bodies that arrive on Hart Island are taken to the mortuary and laid on a bed of organic material inoculated with microbes that promote decomposition. The body is then placed in an individual pod that supports the necrobiome by optimising the environmental conditions for decomposition. After a month, only the skeleton remains. It is then carefully packed into a smaller coffin before being buried somewhere on the Island. This entire process aims to reduce the typical amount of space needed for burials on Hart Island while ensuring that it does not interfere with common religious burial customs in case someone is found, and their remains need to be disinterred and given a more traditional burial.


always was, always will be Kaurna land

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