By Scott Fisher
In architecture studio, we are often required to design structures that are very interesting. Out of my 5 years of college, the most interesting project came to me last fall in my graduate fall studio….A CREMATORIUM. After four weeks of precedent studies I found out what a crematorium actually was, where they're typically located, what is required in order to cremate someone and much more. Our program for the class was to design a crematorium with a total of 40,000 sf. building(s), 2 chapels, 3 retorts, business area and any other areas needed for the business. Our site was in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis which houses a large amount of mausoleums and graves. This cemetery has been well kept but it does not have much public activity. To help improve this issue this proposal is to add a crematorium with chapel spaces. The crematorium is designed for the use of cremation needs along with adjacent chapel but the chapel can also be used a community gathering space. This space should be up-lifting for those that are going through a rough time but also be able to be multi-functional. These spaces are to have good connections but yet be able to stand alone. The chapel and its corresponding area should not only be thought to be used as a place to say your “good-byes,” but also a place for public concerts/meetings/gathering spaces. The appearance of the structure will embrace the surroundings but to also incorporate traditional materials that bring stability. After coming up with several concepts, I developed my first crematorium design as shown below: Night shot of front entrance, interior lobby area, large chapel space, viewing room, and enshrinement room.