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London Physic Gardens: A New Necropolis
MArch Architecture, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. 2018
RIBA Silver Medal Commendation, Sir Banister Fletcher Medal, Fitzroy Robinson drawing Prize, Distinction.

"The gardener digs in another time. 
Without past or future, beginning or end."

 Derek Jarman, Modern Nature, 1992.

Inspired by Derek Jarman's oeuvre and Yves Klein’s blue monochromes the project is a proposal to introduce a resomation facility, necropolis and physic garden; in which our relationship with death is readdressed through the implementation of a botanical garden and medicinal plant farm on the site; fed by the nutrient rich effluent water generated through the process.

Championing resomation (alkaline hydrolysis) as an alternative to cremation, this environmentally beneficial process in which bodies are converted into water, allows us to see death and body disposal as something civic and potentially beautiful. Sited on what was Ranelagh Pleasure Gardens, Chelsea, it is hoped that through reflecting upon the previous inhabitants, and health, of London through the use of rain, river and resomation water on the site, we can begin to engage socially and politically with respect to the past and future, as well as the present.

Cyanotyping (blue-printing) is employed throughout the site to colour the built fabric Prussian Blue and to pattern the shrouds worn by the deceased, with axonometric projections of the necropolis. This blue dye is drawn out of the shroud during resomation, colouring the effluent water, garden, building and river Thames blue. This ‘Blue Revolution’ (Yves Klein, 1958) dyes the river, smog and rain of our city, slowly colouring the entirety of London; forcing the city of the living to engage with the city of the dead, in the present, for the benefit of the future, and of the past.

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