Searching for the Ineffable

Danny Ortega
Rachel McCown

ARCH 411 / Spring 2018

This project explores ways to evoke sacredness without religious affiliation. It is a sacred space for mourners and visitors who seek self-contemplation, a place to gather and a place to remember those who have passed, through strategies of space, sensation and natural phenomena. The design is a non-denominational space for visitors of diverse religious affiliations. Three main programs drive the form and division of the buildings with connecting points between each one. The Reception, Sanctum and Mausoleum work simultaneously to create a sequential experience using material qualities and light. One main conceptual moment happens in the sanctum where the casket of the deceased is placed on a ceremonial platform and descends to the room below after the service. This was intended to bring importance not only to the circulation of the visitor, but also to the body. Our intent is that through strategies of atmosphere, form, scale, materiality, illumination and shadow, we foster an environment with a quiet but strong presence that can encourage experiences of the ineffable.

Award Winning Design

SGH Inc. / Dri-Design Award of Excellence

SARA-NY Honor Award