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Grief and Healing in Architecture David Burns Senior Project Research + Programming 2010-2011 California State Polytechnic University, Pomona Advisors: George Proctor, Alexander Pang, Juintow Lin


Table of Contents

Research

Abstract Research Documentation

Programming

Planning and Zoning Regulations Building Code Research Program Description Program Space Summary Program Data Sheets Resource Allocation

Design

Site Assessment and Analysis Schematic Design Project Design

Supplemental

Appendix Works Cited


Abstract Death is a universal phenomenon. It’s existence is one of the defining characteristics of what it means to live, yet dialog on the matter is often avoided. However, as cemeteries are filling up, land is at a premium, and the largest generation in American history is approaching, now is the time to address the subject. I propose the investigation of crematoriums as a possible solution to these arising infrastructural issues. However, I seek to also examine the implications of cremation and its built form on the idea of the sacred and the phenomenal. Such a program provides a unique opportunity for architecture to consol the bereaved.


Research Documentation The nation is ageing. As the Baby Boomer Generation reaches retirement and beyond, new infrastructural problems will be revealed. The need for both health and living facilities for them to accommodate will expand greatly. Increased life spans provided by modern medicine ensure that they will remain a sizable population in the United States for the next 40 years. However, another infrastructural issue related to passing on. From this stems two important approaches to dealing with interment. The first is the technical requirements for handling all that pass on. There are considerable space and resource requirements both in the preparation for funeral rites, and in their permanent containment. It is unclear what the how much increase capacity existing funerary facilities can handle as the demand for their services rises. As land resources become scarcer, especially in Los Angeles, the amount of land need to contain these bodies will be exorbitant. The other issue at stake is mental wellbeing of those who remain, morning their lost ones. This is potentially far more significant, and the often less considered of the two approaches. The need to help those people reintegrate back into normal life, and not be caught up in a confused stream of emotions is vital to their lives. What is desired from this project is an understanding of what role architecture can play in these conditions.

The funeral process has a profound impact on the grieving process people endure after the passing of another. During this time people are filled with a variety of emotions, including love, hate, disappointment, relief, shame, guilt, and gratitude. This jumble of emotions results in a sense of confusion. This confusion is also a result of an encounter with the unknown. Death is a mystifying feat, and upon encountering it the “presence of holiness involves a suspension of ordinary activities and normal attitudes.”(Grainger 55) In his studies, Roger Grainger has found that the people who are the most comfortable with confronting the issue of death are those who are either religious, or those who explicitly have no faith. Those who have no firm convictions on way or the other are the ones who are most uncertain of the phenomenon, and prefer to avoid the subject. They may even become violent upon its discussion. To deal with the process of recovering from the loss of a fellow human, people have developed rituals. While the various methods of expressing this interaction with the dead may vary from culture to culture, “the impulse to send them in the right way is characteristic of the human species.” (Grainger


7) Grainger continues by saying that these rituals are beginning stages of reintegrating and accepting what has happened. The reflections of Catholic clergyman Rodney J. Copp provides useful insight into the social situation of funerals. When reflecting on one of his first funeral homilies, one that was intensely personal to him, he recounts the incredible mix of emotions felt in the room simultaneously: anger, guilt, sadness, confusion, and memories. The people drawn together were a unique blend: classmates, family, hospital attendants, old friends. Yet despite all the differences and varying opinions of the congregation, there was a unity. They were all there for one purpose, to remember the one they knew and loved. Funerals posses the ability to draw together people who would otherwise never intermingle, and unite them for a moment in time. This means that the architecture that houses this rite has a unique potential to enhance and speak into this uncommon moment of unity. Greif can have deep impacts upon people. Defined, “Greif is a natural response to any loss.� (Manning 11) Many social ill can be attributed to grief, such as divorce and alcoholism. This is why it is important that people are allowed to experience the emotion. To repress it could cause years of emotional and physical damage, though it is sometimes difficult to uncover the source of these feelings. Doug Manning has written that of all the funerals he has conducted the one he feels was the most successful was the one where he said all most nothing. The wake consisted of people from the audience sharing their stories about the man. This sharing is a form of unity, which we concluded above is essential connection needed during the funerary process. Again, we as architects must seek to promote this interaction between people, this sharing that promotes unity and healing in the midst human strife. It is much more imperative than any formal gesture. Author Marilyn Yalom has discovered a trend of people moving to a more personal approach to handling the issue of death. Historically the rituals associated with dying have been aimed at distancing the deceased from the living, but we are moving to a more progressive time. The advent of hospices, life celebrations and unique grave markers shows a new approach to the subject, one that has not really been taken advantage of by architects so much as by landscape architects.

Earth burial is the oldest form of handing human remains. History has documented people being buried in every position, form laying down to sitting and standing. The remains may be placed in caves, vaults, or the ground. In the times of hunter gathers burial grounds were considered sacred, and villages were often developed alongside them. Today, cemeteries are typically planned along the outskirts of cities, where land is less expensive. Over time, these places are often enveloped as cities expand. Most people who are buried are protected from the soil by at least one barrier. In olden days, this may have been just a sheet. Later, wood coffins


were used, but these would disintegrate over time. In the nineteenth century new coffins were advertised as being fit for “presentation, preservation, and protection of the corpse.”(Quigley 84)These caskets may now boarder on the absurd. People have been buried in near full functioning automobiles, and in coffins made of chocolate. Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles offers air conditioning and music in some of its vaults, as well as earthquake proof options. One interesting practice related to earth burials is that of grave leasing. In Victorian England cemeteries used to be dug up and any remains burned, and then reused again. While this seems insensitive, it is due to a great shortage of burial space in many urban centers. The practice of grave leasing is the more formally contracted version of this phenomenon. In Berlin, interment spots may be occupied for 50 years. In Denmark these spaces are sometimes recycled as quickly as every 15 years. In the better cemeteries of London there are 99 year contracts available. The reason that these practices exist is the incredible land shortage faced in many urban areas. It is estimated that the cemeteries of America will reach capacity by the year 2020. With this date soon approaching, the need for a new handling of interment must be reached. 2 Cremation offers a viable alternative to the more common earth burials. Cremation saves space, time and money. The ashes of the deceased may be stored in nearly any item. For those who choose to have there remains still placed in the earth, a mere 16 square inch plot is needed. This means that 8 urns could be placed in the same amount of space as one typical coffin. This increases the number of people able to be interred in cemeteries by 800%. This is not taking into account any new forms of design in handling the ashes, which could potentially raise this statistic even higher. Columbaria are walls that are comprised of many niches for placing cremation urns. They are sometimes found inside of Mausoleums, and other times are freestanding structures. The process of cremation is very specific. The deceased is preserved until cremation is approved. This approval typically is given by the corners office. After this the body is placed in a special combustible case and placed in the cremation oven. These ovens are large and technical pieces of equipment. (Appendix 8) The temperature typically ranges from 1600°F -1800°F, and can consume a body in an average of 2.5 hours. This time varies depending on the size of the body, temperature of oven. These ovens process the smoke, fumes and odor internally. After cremation there are still bone fragments left with the ashes. The remains are then taken to a processor, which produces a fine grade powder. This is then placed in an urn, or any other storage container provided. Historically cremation has been met with mixed emotions. It was sometimes used as a punishment for those had passed. Murders have attempted it to hide their victims remains. Their success is limited because it is difficult to pro-


duce a fire hot enough to consume a body quickly. Christians has protested it because they believed it to interfere with the resurrection of the body. They also opposed it because it was viewed as being tied to pagan rituals. To the other extreme, cremation has been a positive force in many societies. The ancient Greeks cremated most of their deceased, believing that it was a means of purification. Indeed, in times of plague many European cities allowed it, seeing the practice as hygienic. Ancient Australians, Bronze Age Scandinavians, and Babylonians are all recorded as practicing cremation. Both the Hindu and Buddhist religions are keen on this method of dealing with the dead. Some cities in Japan even require it. Cremation is becoming increasingly common. In the United States, approximately 1 in 3 people is cremated, with it being more heavily favored in the western states. In California this rate jumps to over 50%. In other parts of the world statistics are even higher. In the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Denmark, the rates are 76%, 75% and 73% respectively. Yalom.

Crematoria are comprised of many different spaces. The most prominent of these is the main chapel. This is typically the largest area in the facility and is publically accessible. In some cases it contains religious symbols; however, this is not always the case. Cremation is viewed as secularizing influence, though the practice is accepted by many religions, including most Christian sects, Catholicism, Buddhism and Hinduism. In the United Kingdom, 80% of crematoriums surveyed stated that they had a religious dedication at their opening, irrespective of whether they were run by a religion or the local authority. Architecturally, the chapel resembles that of a church. Indeed, it often borrows the elements of stained glass, alters, candles, organs, pews, and sometimes religious symbols. The circulation of crematoria chapels does differ from that of most chapels in a significant way. Most churches require you to enter and exit the building through the same passage. In crematoria it is common for you to enter and exit through different passage ways to different areas. It has unofficially been deemed the “one door in one door out” rule. Indeed this is a prominent feature in many examples of this building type, and may in part be the influence of Asplund’s Woodland Crematorium. This is exercised for a number of reasons. One is the greater need to cycle people through the space, and past the body in some cases. The other reason is that of ritual. There is little formal discussion of what the proper rituals are for cremation, however, the separate exit provides potential for scripting the procession. (Davies) There are several spaces that may be periphery to the chapel. One of these is a waiting space, placed before entry to the chapel itself. When asked to include this space in his design for the Baurnschulenweg Crematorium, Axel Schultes describes area akin to a doctors waiting room. Instead, they created “a space to bind people together to share the dilemma of grief.” (Russel 224) He feels that this reinterpreted part of the program may be the most significant in the entire project. It allows people to come


together in a more intimate way than the wake held inside of the chapel. In what could have been a simple waiting room they created a “metaphysical forest.”(Russel 224) Other spaces supplementary to the chapel may include separate waiting and preparation rooms for either the family or minister. The work spaces of crematorium are much more utilitarian. This stems from a number of different reasons. Firstly, these spaces are often closed to general public, though this is not always the case. Second, this is where the technical and medical facets of the occupation occur, requiring clean, sanitary, and well lit spaces. In addition to spaces for ovens, these facilities must include spaces for storing the body. In many cases the body must be refrigerated until documentation has been approved for cremation. There must also be space for handling the body, both before and after the burning. Before the cremation, the body may be inspected for things that will hinder cremation. Afterwards, the ashes and bone fragments are placed into processors that produce the fine grade ash that we associate with cremains. This part of the facility has its own means of circulation, separate from that of the chapel. It often includes its own private carport for the hearse to deliver the bodies, unseen by grieving visitors. While these spaces are treated in a utilitarian fashion, they are sometimes visited by the bereaved. In some cases they wish to view the burning. In Japan, where cremation rates are incredibly high, it is not uncustomary to watch the process. In extreme cases, guards are placed there to keep people from trying to save the body or join it. In the Crematorium Heimolen, Belgian firm Claus en Kaan Architecten designed a large, clean, naturally lit hall in which three large ovens are placed. While it still takes on the clean requirements of utilitarianism, it also provides a sacred feeling. This space is open to the public. There are several types of services that are held within a crematorium. One is a where a service takes place at the crematorium, just before the start of the cremation process. Another option is to hold a normal funeral service offsite, and then have the body sent to the crematorium. The body may either be processed immediately or at a later time.2 Regardless, there is a disconnection between the time of the wake and the cremation process. This is often the case. Several elements are prominent in the design of crematoriums. First is the emphasis on natural light. It is used to guide people through, softly or dramatically light them, or provide a natural feeling. The dominant use of the color white is also common. This may be for its purifying connotations, and its soft feeling. Norwegian architect Kjell Kristiansen states of his project that “The whiteness and height stress the importance of the event.” (Preece 50) Indeed the expansion and compression of space is a dominant feature in the Scandinavian examples that I have visited. It has great influence upon the feeling one has when progressing though the space. Kristiansen also comments on the East-West orientation of his crematorium design, which


symbolically follows the rising and setting of the sun upon life.

Building and program articulation has been expressed in a variety of ways for crematoriums. However, there are several prominent models or trends. One example is a tendency to place the utilitarian parts of the facility below grade. This may be done for several reasons; to visually hide the program elements that may be harder for the bereaved to handle, to take advantage of site conditions, or as a method of organization in which public space is best served from below. Little evidence supports the notion that this has been done for any symbolic reasons related to death, though the connections to burial are uncanny. Rather, it appears to be done for much more pragmatic reasons. Another debate is weather the chapel and actual crematorium spaces are connected or placed in separate buildings. While there is inevitably a divide in the program between front of house and back of house, this division may be handled in different ways. It is not uncommon for both to be housed under the same roof. This is the case with the Baurnschulenweg and the Woodland Crematorium. In both of these instances the program is stacked, with the utilitarian spaces below. It is important to note that there is precedent for on grade facilities where both parts of the program are connected. Lusparken Arkitekter’s facility in Bodø, Norway houses both areas in one building, albeit divided in two wings rather than stacking the program.1 There are also examples, however, of the two programmatic pieces being separated from each other. In the case of Claus en Kaan Architecten’s Crematorium Heimolen the chapel and crematorium are in separate buildings on opposite sides of the site, separated by a small lake. Another debate in crematorium design is whether the building should express its function. This is related to the above arguments. The most prominent way in which this dilemma manifests itself is in the expression of the chimney. Varying approaches exist. In the Hagen Crematorium, the stack is quite prominently displayed. This was done for several reasons; the building was a prototype for a new type of building, and was influential upon policy changes in Prussia on the subject of cremation. A clear stance had to be taken upon what the building was. In the Bodø example, the stack is express but hardly emphasized. It is used to balance composition.1 The Baurnschulenweg crematorium provides contrast to these examples. Located in a German suburb, all expression of what the buildings functions are is hidden, including the smoke stake. It sits like a foreign object at the end of a row of trees. The architects confess, however, that they had to consider the stigma that Germans face with crematoriums after their prominent use during World War II. In Los Angles, this stigma is not of great concern. Modern crematoriums have not expressed the chimney in dominant ways. Indeed, while there is still use for them, technological advances in cremation mask the smoke and there is little visual proof. One crematorium facility in North Hollywood looks merely like an uninspiring strip mall.


One problem cremation must address more actively than cemeteries is the issue of place. When a body is interred, there is a direct location associated with that person. Family members and close friends find this comforting. Cremains are not handled in such a consistent fashion. They may be stored in several ways. Some people opt to take the cremains away from the crematorium. Several studies in the United Kingdom have examined this phenomenon. In these cases the crematorium no longer has any influence over the sense of place in cremation. Those that take the ashes are in charge of creating that place. In some cases people build private shrines at locations where the deceased frequented. Others keep the ashes with them in their homes, and still others scatter the ashes at some significant place. This process is impossible to predict, as it stems from the complex associations of the living and their connection to the deceased. It is important for the people to have a place to relate to the mourned. In the state of California, it is legal to: place cremains in columbarium or mausoleums, bury them in a cemetery plot, retain at a residence, store in a house of worship or religious place, scatter ashes where not prohibited by other local laws, scatter in cemetery gardens, or scatter at sea at a distance not less than 500 yards from shore. (“Consumers Guide�) There are several ways in which cremains may hold the same powerful sense of place as traditional burial. They may be buried in the ground, just as traditional graves are. In this instance they take up only an eighth of the space required by a typical coffin, making the interment of cremains 800% more efficient. (Prothero) They may also be placed in and above ground monument, such as an obelisk or granite sphere. Similarly, cremains may be placed in a columbarium niche, which also has a direct sense of place. Columbarium are similar to mausoleums, but are specifically designed for cremains. Traditional mausoleums themselves are also capable of storing ashes. Another common option is for the remains to be scattered in a remembrance garden. In some cases they are scattered in a specific spot, which the family can then memorialize and connect with. However, other times they are scattered throughout the garden, and the family does not know what area is associated with them. Some have complained that they feel like they have lost that person completely once they no longer know where even the remains are. Indeed, the scattering of ashes in general may result in a feeling that the deceased is truly gone. One strategy that crematoriums have implemented to help the bereaved who feel a sense of placelessness related to the deceased is the creation of mourning chapels. This facility is located on the grounds, and is separate from the main chapel. It is also much smaller, quieter place, intended for private meditation and not public gathering. It always contains a book of remembrance, in which the names of all the cremated are placed, along with an inscription.


Public policy related to crematoriums is incredibly absent in the United States. There exists no national institution that regulates the funeral arts industry, and few policies that pertain explicitly to crematorium facilities. This has resulted in several scandals, including a crematorium in Georgia which had not cremated the remains but rather scattered them in an insensitive fashion around the site. A California institution was caught selling organs for medical research. Only a handful of states monitor their operation at all. In 2002 the California Department of Consumer Affairs doubled its staff or cemetery inspectors, and more than doubled its caseload to 528 investigations. The lack of oversight in the funeral industry is problematic. It has resulted in limited amounts of statistics pertaining to the resources available in the profession. Policy failure in London provides an example of the potential problems with lack of regulation. There, as here, no one body rules over or monitors burial facilities. While there are a multitude of cemeteries, they are all nearly filled. People must be interred at greater distances from their homes, which means they are charged much higher rates because they are outside of the area to which they paid their taxes. In the US, confirms that cemeteries are also filling up here as well. (Prothero) Cremation can help solve this problem. Crematoriums have been used to influence public policy. In Prussia, cremation was forbidden, despite a large number of advocates for its practice. The Hagen Cremation Society paired their radically idea of burial with modern architecture. They built the crematorium before they had permission to use it, and once it was completed, they sued for the right to use it. The building became a symbol, and the cities most visited attraction. Peter Behrens modern design influenced a generation of architects, including Le Corbusier and Walter Gropius. It also helped cremation become legalized in the state of Prussia. It is possible that America needs a new crematorium that will draw attention to impending problem of limited cemetery land resources, and present the practice in a new light.

Crematoriums face environmental challenges. The lack of governmental oversight means few restrictions have been set on emissions produced by the facilities. They are known to introduce both mercury and dioxins into the atmosphere. The EPA has put these emissions on a list indicating that there is insufficient data to investigate the severity of the problem. It is believed that the mercury comes from the burning of medical implants, such as fillings in teeth. It is estimated that 3 grams of mercury per corpse are introduced to the atmosphere. This means that a facility that handles 3000 bodies a year would produce 20 lbs. of mercury. It is estimated that 238 lbs. of the gas are produced by this source every year in the U.S. In comparison, a single ConocoPhillips refinery produces 81 lbs. per year. Other nations have strong policies regulating crematorium emissions. Taiwan has produced


studies indicating that filtration of the smoke dramatically reduces the number of dioxins emitted.2 Similarly, Denmark is beginning to enforce emission controls on crematoriums for both dioxins and mercury. To do this one must cool the temperature of “chimney gasses from 800 °C to 100 °C.” This can be done by running it through cool water. Not all by products of the cremation process are harmful. In fact, the process is capable of producing power for the grid. In Denmark, Sweden and the U.K., excess heat from the process is used to add power to the grid, warming thousands of homes. While some have found this controversial, its practice has not been challenged. Some have even supported it by stating that it is simply the responsible use of a byproduct of a sustainable funerary process. Indeed, it is both financially and ecologically beneficial to crematoriums.5, , (“Body heat”, “Britain”, Maeder)

Few people are fully aware of rituals and processes associated with cremation. The process is still forming its identity. The modern crematorium itself has only existed for just over a century. Its popularity in the United States is increasing, but lacks a clear domestic model. In California, nearly 50% of people are cremated, yet there is no emerging identity for these facilities. Most crematoriums are located in unassuming strip malls and mortuaries. Cemeteries that have their own crematory facilities seem to not be of the same design quality as those in Northern Europe. They are treated as incredibly utilitarian pieces, with modest hints at sensitivity. They are somewhat removed from the funeral wake, and their facilities lack any features that indicate its purpose. The design does not help the crematoriums operate more effectively, nor do they actively aid in the healing of the bereaved. When surveyed, 57% of those over 40, and 41% of those under the age felt that crematoriums were sacred. Of those under the age, those with more experience with crematoria were more likely to feel they were. Douglas Davies states that this means that “remembering the dead is not a passive moment but a potent experience of the sacred.” Indeed, this brings into play many of Lindsay Jones’ beliefs about the ‘sacred’ in architecture. The building brings people together to mark a singular event. Davies also points out that in the U.S. crematoriums are viewed as utilitarian pieces and not “symbolic architectural location.” (Davies 92)

Death is one of the few places that the eye cannot see. There is not glimpse ahead to the other side. It is one of the last unknown phenomenons in human existence. As noted above, this has different affects upon different people. Some embrace it, however fearfully, while others are terrified at the notion. Architectural treatment of this program must be different from that of others. The intense emotions and gravity that people carry with them in these


situations is unique to humanity. If the role of architecture is to serve the masses and to help people, as the original premise of modernism is, then this program offers a unique opportunity for architecture to have an impact upon the physic of its occupants, however temporary. In his seminal piece, The Eyes of the Skin, Juhani Pallasmaa discusses the role of vision in architecture, and how it has lessened the sensation of design. However, if we are dealing with a natural phenomenon which has no vision associated with it, then our architectural work may benefit from being less reliant upon our societies prevailing sense of dominance. The modern eye has become narcissistic and nihilistic. For architecture, this has led to a sense of detachment from any sensory feelings. An isolated body, making architecture not much more than visual self-expression. Vision is the sense dominating Western culture right now. This is clearly exemplified in other fields, where analogies are drawn to opening your eyes. The ability to capture and manipulate images, to print and read, has led us to a place where we are hardened to the emotional impact of visual representation. As we are intent upon dealing with the emotional state of people we must find additional ways to supplement this sense. One way to do this is through the use of materials. “Natural materials- stone, brick, and wood- allow our vision to penetrate their surfaces and enable us to become convinced of the veracity of matter.” (Pallasmaa 31) These materials allow for their age and history to be expressed. This materials all contain their own unique connotations. There lies great potential in new materials as well. While glass, metals and plastics are usually used for their ageless properties, they too can be tactfully applied. Architectural expression through “reflection, gradations, transparency, overlay and juxtaposition” (Pallasmaa 32) all hold the ability to create incredibly sensual and spatially engaging environments. The senses are the able to not just understand our physical surroundings but activate our imaginations and memory. Pallasmaa continues his discussion of phenomenology by talking about the role the other senses play in architecture. Where vision may be representative of the distance between things, touch reveals the closeness, an intimacy. This is why we close our eyes when doing certain tasks, such as daydreaming or caressing loved ones. A separation from sight strengthens other senses. Where the modern sentiment is to provide as much light as possible to a space, which indeed in my view has merit in many situations, darkness can also add to a space. By limiting the strength of sight, the other senses must play a larger role. It is in dim spaces that you get a tactile feeling; mystery and imagination come alive, and thoughts can be more articulated. The play of light and shadow is paramount. Tadao Ando is a master at this skill. In his Church of the Light me masterfully employs light to add to the spiritual nature of the building, while reinforcing the materiality and program of the structure. (See Appendix 1)


Sound also influences our perception of space and vision. Through this sense we feel the scale of space. The souring cavities of a cathedral for example, or echo of an abandoned house. Likewise sounds are associated with images, with places. I, for example, associate the music of Marina and the Diamonds to the Copenhagen neighborhood of Ă˜sterbro, where it provided the soundtrack to my summer of biking to work. Here, sound reminds me of an urban environment. It can also provide triggers for memories of events, spaces, and an endless host of other experiences. Sound in architecture may be the result of conscious acoustical planning, that of the noise of the program, or the nature surrounding. The senses provide us with a connection to something greater. They help us feel a part of something; of an environment. This connection is paramount. Architecture provides people with the unconscious ability to be a part of a cycle greater than our lives because of its rather permanent standing. Holding the door that has been opened by thousands of others, or touching the stone of a centuries old building all provide a feeling of something greater when contemplated. Likewise, a connection to the cycles of nature provides this sensation as well. This connection to something must be connected to the design of grief. The uses of the proposed buildings are in a mental condition searching for some kind of connection, or lack thereof, to help them integrate the experience into their lives in a helpful way. Toyo Ito draws a beautiful analogy for the role of architecture in events. Recounting a cherry blossom viewing party, where people gather with a simple sheet, and a tent, and immerse themselves in the event. It is not the architecture that is there first, rather it is the people celebrating the event. The role of the structure is to provide a framework from which to participate in the event. It is in no way the focus. This logic applies greatly to the framework of a chapel and crematorium. What is important here is not building, but how it enhance the wake within.

Los Angeles County has a population of 9.8 million people (statistics as of 2009). It is estimated that by 2050 the population will grow to 13 million. (California Dept. of Finance). Currently only 6.7% of people claim to belong to religions banning the practice of cremation (Judaism and Islam). , Between 1990 and 2003 the death rate remained relatively flat, with an average of 6.45%. If this remains consistent that means that funeral homes will need to accommodate 838,000 deaths annually. This is a significant swell. However, these calculations do not take into account the aging population. In 2006 the baby boomer generation began turning 60, with a life expectancy of 78-82 years. The Baby boomers account for 28% of the overall population. This means that between the years 2024-2036 we can expect a sizable portion of the largest generation in American history to pass. Currently, over 50% of deaths in California are cremated, with statistics indicating a continual rise in this trend. There are inadequate statistics measuring the states capacity to handle this large influx of impending demand. Further research and professional investigation will be continued regarding


this dilemma. However, it is known that cemeteries across the country are reaching capacity. In one decade it is expected that most cemeteries will be filled to capacity. (Prothero) This necessitates the need for cremation, and will likely result in its growing prevalence in American society. Another issue to keep in mind, though less prevalent, is land management. As cemeteries begin to fill up and close their gates there will still be a need for upkeep. Traditional cemetery management has taken this into consideration, with part of its budget set aside for this purpose. However, once, these coffers run dry the process will no longer be self sustaining. Crematoriums and more specifically columbaria offer increased advantage in that they increase the density of remains, resulting in less space consumed, and reducing the cost of maintain facilities.

There are several ideas that are paramount for the design of a crematorium. These are the concepts of image, symbol, security, and sacredness. These concepts are very interdependent. Currently, crematorium designs in America lack any sense of these notions. A crematorium should be seen as a symbolic building type. It is the final place that a person’s body goes. It is where people gather to celebrate their life and mourn their loss. Because of these ramifications, crematoriums should not be mere strip mall or hospital structures of utilitarianism. There must be a stronger essence reassuring the bereaved that their loved one is being handled with reverence. These people require a place in which to mourn and associate with their friend. This is well argued above. The crematorium must be a place where one feels safe, and with an air of sacredness. The building is the final impression left upon the life of the deceased, and must be handled with more care than waiting room. The architecture must accommodate both the sacred gathering of the bereaved and the final processing of the remains.

Rose Hills offers a potentially viable site. It has ample room for expansion. Its landscape is such that it could easily handle either the above and below grade strategy dominant in crematorium design. It is also able to hand the chapel and technical facilities in either combined or multiple buildings. The location can also accommodate memorial gardens and access to a larger network of existing burial facilities. Rose Hills location atop a hill may also be of significance symbolically, as it can be seen from the entire Los Angeles Basin, potentially avoiding a sense of placelessness, and ties to the city as a whole. This hill top location may also be of benefit in distancing neighboring communities from the emissions that are produced. The more time and distance that these substances have to evaporate and cool before reaching the ground, the less significant their effect. It is also an easily accessible site. Another viable site is tucked into the San Gabriel Mountains. This site has the advantage of distancing the population from any emissions. It too is able to handle the various connected and separated building strategies of


crematoriums. Its natural setting may prove to be therapeutic, and ripe with symbolism and a sense of place. The most significant hindrance is site access. It takes more time to access the area, which is not used to high traffic flow. However, its dual proximity to the city and the sense of differentiation from it may overcome this. Costal Los Angeles also satisfies several of the criteria for crematorium design. The location has easy accessibility. It is a place deeply associated with the city, much more so than the mountains. It contains a strong sense of place, which contains strong potential for symbolism and image. However, it may not be able to handle all building types, inclusion of memorial gardens, and brings emissions closest to the population. Additional sites may still be considered, specifically examination of more urban sites. However, these locations may be more limited in scope, and could bring the public closer to emissions.


Planning and Zoning Regulations

Summary The project site is located in an unincorporated section of Los Angeles County. The county’s codes specify that this site is in the Workman Mill Special District. Rose Hills Memorial Park is the sole occupant of this zone. The mailing address is in the city of Whittier, but it is not under their jurisdiction. The site is classified for light and heavy agriculture (Zone A-1 and A-2, respectively). Cemetery land use is permitted for this zone classification. Presented here are passages from the county ordinances pertaining to Zone A, and to cemetery land use.


ZONE A-1: Light Agriculture (Title 22) Permitted Uses: A. Single family residences, crops (field, tree, bush, berry, row and nursery stock) (22.24.070) B. Greenhouses and raising of cattle, horses, sheep, goats, poultry, birds, earthworms, etc. (22.24.070) Minimum Required Area: A. Unless otherwise specified, 5000 sq. ft./lot (22.52.100, 2 2.52.250) B. 1 to 5 acres, depending on type of structures and/or number and types of animals (22.24.070) Maximum Height Limit: A. 35 feet for residential uses (22.24.110) B. 13 times buildable area for non-residential uses (22.52.050 Standard Yard Requirements and Development Standards: Properties developed with single family residences are subject to the same requirements as in zone R-1 (22.24.110) Animal-related structures must be kept a minimum of 50 feet from streets and highways and structures used for human habitation (22.24.070) Stands for the display and sales of products grown on the property must be wooden, not larger than 300 sq. ft., not nearer than 20 feet from a street, and on a parcel of at least 1 acre (22.24.080B)


ZONE A-2: Heavy Agriculture (Title 22) Permitted Uses: A. Uses permitted in zone A-1 (22.24.120) B. Animal hospitals, dairies, dog kennels, livestock feed lots, manure spreading, oil wells (22.24.120) Minimum Required Area: A. Unless otherwise specified, 10,000 sq. ft./lot (22.52.100 and 22.52.250) B. 1 to 10 acres depending on the type of structures, uses, and/or numbers and types of animals (22.24.120) Maximum Height Limit: A. 35 ft. for residential uses (22.24.170) B. 13 times buildable area for non-residential uses (22.52.050) Minimum Required Parking: - 2 covered spaces per single family residence (22.52.1180) - For other uses, see applicable uses, Part 11, Chapter 22.52 Standard Yard Requirements and Development Standards: Properties developed with single family residences are subject to the same requirements as in zone R-1 (22.24.170) Animal-related structures must be kept a minimum of 50 feet from streets and highways and structures used for human habitation (22.24.120) Stands for the display and sales of products grown on the property must be wooden, not larger than 300 sq. ft., not nearer than 20 feet from a street, and on a parcel of at least 1 acre (22.24.130)


Part 4 CEMETERY PERMITS 22.56.540 Cemetery defined. As used in Title 22 of this code “cemetery” means a place for the permanent interment of dead human bodies, or the cremated remains thereof, including a crematory. It may be either a burial park for earth interments, a mausoleum for vault or crypt interments, a columbarium for cinerary interments, or a combination of one or more thereof. (Ord. 1494 Ch. 5 Art. 4 § 504.1, 1927.) 22.56.550 Cemetery deemed established when. A. A cemetery shall be deemed to be established or maintained or extended where the interment of one or more dead human bodies or cremated remains is made in or upon any property, whether or not the same has been duly and regularly dedicated for cemetery purposes under the laws of the state of California, and which at the date the ordinance codified in this Part 4 took effect, was not included within the boundaries of a legally existing cemetery. B. Any person who makes or causes to be made any interment in or upon such property, and any person having the right of possession of any such property who knowingly permits the interment of a dead body or cremated remains therein or thereupon shall be deemed to have established, or maintained, or extended a cemetery within the meaning of the provisions of Title 22 of this code. (Ord. 1494 Ch. 5 Art. 4 § 504.3, 1927.) 22.56.560 Permit required. A person shall not establish or maintain any cemetery or extend the boundaries of any existing cemetery at any place within the unincorporated territory of the county of Los Angeles without a permit first having been applied for and obtained from the hearing officer. This section does not prevent the maintenance, development and operation within their present boundaries of cemeteries which were legally established on the date the ordinance codified in this Part 4 took effect. (Ord. 85-0195 § 14 (part), 1985; Ord. 1494 Ch. 5 Art. 4 § 504.5, 1927.) 22.56.570 Application--Filing. Any person desiring to obtain a permit required by this Part 4 shall file a written application therefor with the director. (Ord. 1494 Ch. 5 Art. 4 § 504.7, 1927.) 22.56.580 Application--Information required. An application for a permit required by this Part 4 shall set forth in separate paragraphs or in exhibits attached thereto the following information: A. A list, certified to be correct by affidavit or by statement under penalty of perjury pursuant to Section 2015.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure, of names and addresses of: 1. All persons owning any part of the property proposed to be used as a cemetery, and


2. All persons owning property within a distance of 500 feet of the boundaries of the subject parcel of land, as shown on the latest available assessment roll of the county of Los Angeles; B. The names and addresses of the officers and directors of the corporation which will be in charge of the operation of the cemetery; C. A map showing the exact location, exterior boundaries and legal description of the property which it is proposed to use for a cemetery and the location of all buildings, whether public or private, located within a distance of 500 feet from the exterior boundaries of the subject parcel of land and the location and depth of all wells in said area from which domestic or irrigating water is obtained. The map shall also show the location and names of all roads located within a distance of 500 feet from the exterior boundaries of the said parcel. The map shall further show the elevation in feet above sea level or the highest and lowest points in the said premises, and the width, depth and location of all natural watercourses and artificial drains or conduits for the drainage of stormwater located upon the said parcel and within 2,000 feet from the exterior boundary thereof in any direction; D. A financial statement of applicant, showing the financial ability of applicant to establish, care for and maintain the proposed cemetery in such a manner as to prevent the same from being a public nuisance; E. A statement setting forth whether the said cemetery is to be established as a perpetual-care or nonperpetual-care cemetery, and if a perpetualcare fund is to be or has been created, the amount then on hand and the method, scheme or plan of continuing and adding to the same in full details sufficient to show that said cemetery will be maintained so as not to become a public nuisance. (Ord. 90-0134 § 12, 1990: Ord. 1494 Ch. 5 Art. 4 § 504.11, 1927.) 22.56.590 Application--Verification and signatures required. The president and secretary of the corporation which will be in charge of the operation of the proposed cemetery and the owner of the land to be included therein shall sign the application for a permit required by this Part 4. Such persons shall also verify the application as provided by the Code of Civil Procedure of the state of California for the verification of pleadings in civil actions. (Ord. 1494 Ch. 5 Art. 4 § 504.9, 1927.) 22.56.600 Application--Fee and deposit. At the time of filing any application for a permit required by this Part 4, the applicant shall pay to the director the filing fee and deposit as required by Section 22.60.100. (Ord. 1494 Ch. 5 Art. 4 § 504.13, 1927.) 22.56.610 Application--Public hearings required. The public hearing on an application for a cemetery permit shall be held pursuant to the procedure provided in Part 4 of Chapter 22.60. (Ord. 2008-0043 § 9, 2008: Ord. 92-0096 § 3, 1992: Ord. 90-0134 § 13 (part), 1990: Ord. 85-0195 § 14 (part), 1985; Ord. 1494 Ch. 5 Art. 4 § 504.15, 1927.) 22.56.630 Denial of permit--Conditions.


A permit may be denied if it is found that: A. The establishment or maintenance of the proposed cemetery or the extension of an existing cemetery will or may jeopardize or adversely affect the public health, safety, comfort or welfare; or B. Such establishment, maintenance or extension will or may reasonably be expected to be a public nuisance; or C. Such establishment, maintenance or extension will tend to interfere with the free movement of traffic or with the proper protection of the public through interference with the movement of police, ambulance or fire equipment, and thus interfere with the convenience of the public or the protection of the lives and property of the public; or D. That the applicant, through the proposed perpetual-care fund or otherwise, cannot demonstrate adequate financial ability to establish and maintain the proposed cemetery so as to prevent the proposed cemetery from becoming a public nuisance. (Ord. 1494 Ch. 5 Art. 4 § 504.19, 1927.) 22.56.640 Dedication of public highways required when. Before taking final action, the hearing officer, commission or the board of supervisors may require of the applicant any reasonable dedication of public streets or highways through the premises proposed to be used for the proposed cemetery or extension of an existing cemetery so as to prevent the same from jeopardizing the public safety, comfort or welfare, and if the time required by the hearing officer, or the board of supervisors for compliance with such conditions shall elapse without such conditions having been met, the hearing officer, commission or the board of supervisors may deny the permit. (Ord. 85-0195 § 11 (part), 1985; Ord. 1494 Ch. 5 Art. 4 § 504.21, 1927.) 22.56.650 Repeated applications--Waiting period. In the event that the hearing officer, commission or the board of supervisors shall have denied its approval of any application heretofore or hereafter made for any permit provided for in this Part 4, no new or further applications for any such permit shall be made to establish or extend a cemetery upon the same premises, or any portion thereof, as described in such previous applications, until the expiration of one year from and after the date of the denial of such approval. (Ord. 85-0195 § 11 (part), 1985; Ord. 1494 Ch. 5 Art. 4 § 504.23, 1927.) 22.56.660 Permit assignment and use limitations. No permit granted as a result of any such application shall be assignable prior to the actual establishment of such cemetery or extension of any existing cemetery, nor shall, such permit be used by any other person than applicant in the establishment of such cemetery or extension of an existing cemetery. (Ord. 1494 Ch. 5 Art. 4 § 504.25, 1927.) 22.56.680 Reduction in boundaries. Where an application is filed requesting a cemetery permit for a reduction in boundaries of an existing cemetery never used, the applicant may: A. Substitute a distance of 700 feet for filing and application requirements as provided in the case of minor expansions by subdivisions D1


through D4 of Section 22.56.670: and B. Delete the information required by subsections D and E of Section 22.56.580. (Ord. 1494 Ch. 5 Art. 4 ยง 504.29, 1927.)


Building Code Research

Summary The program of this project falls into two occupancy. The chapel and related elements falls into the Assembly Group A-3 occupancy. The crematorium component is classified as Business Group B occupancy. The following section provides the formal description of what constitutes each of these classifications. It also includes relevant sections on height, area, and occupant load limitations. These sections have been deemed particularly important for this program; however, the full code must be referenced for applicable passages.


IBC-2006

SECTION 303 ASSEMBLY GROUP A 303.1 Assembly Group A. Assembly Group A occupancy includes, among others, the use of a building or structure, or a portion thereof, for the gathering of persons for purposes such as civic, social or religious functions; recreation, food or drink consumption; or awaiting transportation. Exceptions: 1. A building used for assembly purposes with an occupant l oad of less than 50 persons shall be classified as a Group B occupancy. 2. A room or space used for assembly purposes with an occupant load of less than 50 persons and accessory to another occupancy shall be classified as a Group B occupancy or as part of that occupancy. 3. A room or space used for assembly purposes that is less than 750 square feet (70 m2) in area and is accessory to another occupancy shall be classified as a Group B occupancy or as part of that occupancy. Assembly occupancies shall include the following: A-1 Assembly uses, usually with fixed seating, intended for the production and viewing of the performing arts or motion pictures including, but not limited to: Motion picture theaters Symphony and concert halls Television and radio studios admitting an audience Theaters A-2 Assembly uses intended for food and/or drink consumption including, but not limited to: Banquet halls Night clubs Restaurants Taverns and bars A-3 Assembly uses intended for worship, recreation or amusement and other assembly uses not classified elsewhere in Group A including, but not limited to: Amusement arcades Art galleries Bowling alleys


Places of religious worship Community halls Courtrooms Dance halls (not including food or drink consumption) Exhibition halls Funeral parlors Gymnasiums (without spectator seating) Indoor swimming pools (without spectator seating) Indoor tennis courts (without spectator seating) Lecture halls Libraries Museums Waiting areas in transportation terminals Pool and billiard parlors A-4 Assembly uses intended for viewing of indoor sporting events and activities with spectator seating including, but not limited to: Arenas Skating rinks Swimming pools Tennis courts A-5 Assembly uses intended for participation in or viewing outdoor activities including, but not limited to: Amusement park structures Bleachers Grandstands Stadiums SECTION 304 BUSINESS GROUP B 304.1 Business Group B. Business Group B occupancy includes, among others, the use of a building or structure, or a portion thereof, for office, professional or service-type transactions, including storage of records and accounts. Business occupancies shall include, but not be limited to, the following: Airport traffic control towers Animal hospitals, kennels and pounds Banks Barber and beauty shops Car wash Civic administration Clinic—outpatient Dry cleaning and laundries: pick-up and delivery stations and self-service Educational occupancies for students above the 12th grade Electronic data processing Laboratories: testing and research Motor vehicle showrooms Post offices Print shops


Professional services (architects, attorneys, dentists, physicians, engineers, etc.) Radio and television stations Telephone exchanges Training and skill development not within a school or academic program SECTION 503 GENERAL HEIGHT AND AREA LIMITATIONS 503.1 General. The height and area for buildings of different construction types shall be governed by the intended use of the building and shall not exceed the limits in Table 503 except as modified hereafter. Each part of a building included within the exterior walls or the exterior walls and fire walls where provided shall be permitted to be a separate building. 503.1.1 Special industrial occupancies. Buildings and structures designed to house special industrial processes that require large areas and unusual heights to accommodate craneways or special machinery and equipment, including, among others, rolling mills; structural metal fabrication shops and foundries; or the production and distribution of electric, gas or steam power, shall be exempt from the height and area limitations of Table 503. 503.1.2 Buildings on same lot. Two or more buildings on the same lot shall be regulated as separate buildings or shall be considered as portions of one building if the height of each building and the aggregate area of buildings are within the limitations of Table 503 as modified by Sections 504 and 506. The provisions of this code applicable to the aggregate building shall be applicable to each building. 503.1.3 Type I construction. Buildings of Type I construction permitted to be of unlimited tabular heights and areas are not subject to the special requirements that allow unlimited area buildings in Section 507 or unlimited height in Sections 503.1.1 and 504.3 or increased height and areas for other types of construction. SECTION 504 HEIGHT 504.1 General. The height permitted by Table 503 shall be increased in accordance with this section. Exception: The height of one-story aircraft hangars, aircraft paint hangars and buildings used for the manufacturing of aircraft shall not be limited if the building is provided with an automatic fire-extinguishing system in accordance with Chapter 9 and is entirely surrounded by public ways or yards not less in width than one and one-half times the


height of the building. 504.2 Automatic sprinkler system increase. Where a building is equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1, the value specified in Table 503 for maximum height is increased by 20 feet (6096 mm) and the maximum number of stories is increased by one. These increases are permitted in addition to the area increase in accordance with Sections 506.2 and 506.3. For Group R buildings equipped throughout with an approved automatic sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.3.1.2, the value specified in Table 503 for maximum height is increased by 20 feet (6096 mm) and the maximum number of stories is increased by one, but shall not exceed 60 feet (18 288 mm) or four stories, respectively. Exceptions: 1. Fire areas with an occupancy in Group I-2 of Type IIB, III, IV or V construction. 2. Fire areas with an occupancy in Group H-1, H-2, H-3 or H-5. 3. Fire-resistance rating substitution in accordance with Table 601, Note e. 504.3 Roof structures. Towers, spires, steeples and other roof structures shall be constructed of materials consistent with the required type of construction of the building except where other construction is permitted by Section 1509.2.1. Such structures shall not be used for habitation or storage. The structures shall be unlimited in height if of noncombustible materials and shall not extend more than 20 feet (6096 mm) above the allowable height if of combustible materials (see Chapter 15 for additional requirements). SECTION 1004 OCCUPANT LOAD 1004.1 Design occupant load. In determining means of egress requirements, the number of occupants for whom means of egress facilities shall be provided shall be determined in accordance with this section. Where occupants from accessory areas egress through a primary space, the calculated occupant load for the primary space shall include the total occupant load of the primary space plus the number of occupants egressing through it from the accessory area. 1004.1.1 Areas without fixed seating. The number of occupants shall be computed at the rate of one occupant per unit of area as prescribed in Table 1004.1.1. For areas without fixed seating, the occupant load shall not be less than that number determined by dividing the floor area under consideration by the occupant per unit of area factor


assigned to the occupancy as set forth in Table 1004.1.1. Where an intended use is not listed in Table 1004.1.1, the building official shall establish a use based on a listed use that most nearly resembles the intended use. Exception: Where approved by the building official, the actual number of occupants for whom each occupied space, floor or building is designed, although less than those determined by calculation, shall be permitted to be used in the determination of the design occupant load. 1004.2 Increased occupant load. The occupant load permitted in any building, or portion thereof, is permitted to be increased from that number established for the occupancies in Table 1004.1.1, provided that all other requirements of the code are also met based on such modified number and the occupant load does not exceed one occupant per 7 square feet (0.65 m2) of occupiable floor space. Where required by the building official, an approved aisle, seating or fixed equipment diagram substantiating any increase in occupant load shall be submitted. Where required by the building official, such diagram shall be posted. 1004.7 Fixed seating. For areas having fixed seats and aisles, the occupant load shall be determined by the number of fixed seats installed therein. The occupant load for areas in which fixed seating is not installed, such aswaiting spaces and wheelchair spaces, shall be determined in accordance with Section 1004.1.1 and added to the number of fixed seats. For areas having fixed seating without dividing arms, the occupant load shall not be less than the number of seats based on one person for each 18 inches (457 mm)of seating length. The occupant load of seating booths shall be based on one person for each 24 inches (610 mm) of booth seat length measured at the backrest of the seating booth. 1004.8 Outdoor areas. Yards, patios, courts and similar outdoor areas accessible to and usable by the building occupants shall be provided with means of egress as required by this chapter. The occupant load of such outdoor areas shall be assigned by the building official in accordance with the anticipated use. Where outdoor areas are to be used by persons in addition to the occupants of the building, and the path of egress travel from the outdoor areas passes through the building, means of egress requirements for the building shall be based on the sum of the occupant loads of the building plus the outdoor areas. Exceptions: 1. Outdoor areas used exclusively for service of the building need only have one means of egress. 2. Both outdoor areas associated with Group R-3 and individual dwelling units of Group R-2. 1004.9 Multiple occupancies. Where a building contains two


or more occupancies, the means of egress requirements shall apply to each portion of the building based on the occupancy of that space. Where two or more occupancies utilize portions of the same means of egress system, those egress components shall meet the more stringent requirements of all occupancies that are served.


GENERAL BUILDING HEIGHTS AND AREAS TABLE 503 ALLOWABLE HEIGHT AND BUILDING AREASa Height limitations shown as stories and feet above grade plane. Area limitations as determined by the definition of “Area, building,” per story TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION TYPE I

TYPE II

TYPE III

TYPE IV

TYPE V

A

B

A

B

A

B

HT

A

B

HGT(feet) GROUP

HGT(S)

UL

160

65

55

65

55

65

50

40

A-1

S A

UL UL

5 UL

3 15,500

2 8,500

3 14,000

2 8,500

3 15,000

2 11,500

1 5,500

A-2

S A

UL UL

11 UL

3 15,500

2 9,500

3 14,000

2 9,500

3 15,000

2 11,500

1 6,000

A-3

S A

UL UL

11 UL

3 15,500

2 9,500

3 14,000

2 9,500

3 15,000

2 11,500

1 6,000

A-4

S A

UL UL

11 UL

3 15,500

2 9,500

3 14,000

2 9,500

3 15,000

2 11,500

1 6,000

A-5

S A

UL UL

UL UL

UL UL

UL UL

UL UL

UL UL

UL UL

UL UL

UL UL

B

S A

UL UL

11 UL

5 37,500

4 23,000

5 28,500

4 19,000

5 36,000

3 18,000

2 9,000

E

S A

UL UL

5 UL

3 26,500

2 14,500

3 23,500

2 14,500

3 25,500

1 18,500

1 9,500

F-1

S A

UL UL

11 UL

4 25,000

2 15,500

3 19,000

2 12,000

4 33,500

2 14,000

1 8,500

F-2

S A

UL UL

11 UL

5 37,500

3 23,000

4 28,500

3 18,000

5 50,500

3 21,000

2 13,000

H-1

S A

1 21,000

1 16,500

1 11,000

1 7,000

1 9,500

1 7,000

1 10,500

1 7,500

NP NP

H-2d

S A

UL 21,000

3 16,500

2 11,000

1 7,000

2 9,500

1 7,000

2 10,500

1 7,500

1 3,000

H-3d

S A

UL UL

6 60,000

4 26,500

2 14,000

4 17,500

2 13,000

4 25,500

2 10,000

1 5,000

H-4

S A

UL UL

7 UL

5 37,500

3 17,500

5 28,500

3 17,500

5 36,000

3 18,000

2 6,500

H-5

S A

4 UL

4 UL

3 37,500

3 23,000

3 28,500

3 19,000

3 36,000

3 18,000

2 9,000

I-1

S A

UL UL

9 55,000

4 19,000

3 10,000

4 16,500

3 10,000

4 18,000

3 10,500

2 4,500

I-2

S A

UL UL

4 UL

2 15,000

1 11,000

1 12,000

NP NP

1 12,000

1 9,500

NP NP

I-3

S A

UL UL

4 UL

2 15,000

1 10,000

2 10,500

1 7,500

2 12,000

2 7,500

1 5,000

I-4

S A

UL UL

5 60,500

3 26,500

2 13,000

3 23,500

2 13,000

3 25,500

1 18,500

1 9,000

M

S A

UL UL

11 UL

4 21,500

4 12,500

4 18,500

4 12,500

4 20,500

3 14,000

1 9,000

R-1

S A

UL UL

11 UL

4 24,000

4 16,000

4 24,000

4 16,000

4 20,500

3 12,000

2 7,000

R-2

S A

UL UL

11 UL

4 24,000

4 16,000

4 24,000

4 16,000

4 20,500

3 12,000

2 7,000

R-3

S A

UL UL

11 UL

4 UL

4 UL

4 UL

4 UL

4 UL

3 UL

3 UL

R-4

S A

UL UL

11 UL

4 24,000

4 16,000

4 24,000

4 16,000

4 20,500

3 12,000

2 7,000

S-1

S A

UL UL

11 48,000

4 26,000

3 17,500

3 26,000

3 17,500

4 25,500

3 14,000

1 9,000

S-2b, c

S A

UL UL

11 79,000

5 39,000

4 26,000

4 39,000

4 26,000

5 38,500

4 21,000

2 13,500

Uc

S A

UL UL

5 35,500

4 19,000

2 8,500

3 14,000

2 8,500

4 18,000

2 9,000

1 5,500

For SI: 1 foot = 304.8 mm, 1 square foot = 0.0929 m2. UL = Unlimited, NP = Not permitted. a. See the following sections for general exceptions to Table 503: 1. Section 504.2, Allowable height increase due to automatic sprinkler system installation. 2. Section 506.2, Allowable area increase due to street frontage. 3. Section 506.3, Allowable area increase due to automatic sprinkler system installation. 4. Section 507, Unlimited area buildings. b. For open parking structures, see Section 406.3. c. For private garages, see Section 406.1. d. See Section 415.5 for limitations.


Program Description This project consists of three main programmatic elements. These are the chapel, the crematorium, and the columbaria. There is a series of over arching themes that serve to unify the three elements. The primary goal is to use architecture to articulate the processes of grief and healing that surround the rituals of interment, and then feed back into the cycle. As explored in depth earlier, architectural phenomenology has a tremendous impact on our perception of place, and even how buildings function. The intent here is to take these three elements of program and evoke in people a sense of calming and resolution. This cannot be achieved without moments of tension, a tangible embodiment of the emotions running through the bereaved. Within the Chapel section of the program are several basic elements. Included are two chapels for the commencement of memorial services. These are to be large open space with directed views to the surrounding hills. They are to evoke a sense of the infinite, while at the same time connecting you to those around. This is a place of shared experience. Research indicates that this communal act aids greatly in the healing process. These chapels are supported by supplementary spaces for family waiting areas, and chaplain preparation rooms, in addition to the standard lobbies, restrooms, etc. The family and chaplain rooms are to be calm, meditative spaces. A supplementary meditation chapel is also provided. This is a place for people to return to, as is quite a common practice of the bereaved. It is a much smaller space than the afore mentioned chapels, and is for personal, rather than communal displays of grief. The crematorium contains both public and private areas. In America, there exist few rituals or well defined conceptions about what the process of cremation entails, especially on a social level. There are however, precedents for modern crematoriums found elsewhere. Based on these examples, and upon trends in American interment, the crematorium is decidedly unclinical. It will of course meet clinical requirements of cleanliness, for both very real health concerns, and for the peace of mind of the bereaved. Indeed, the back of house sections of this element, including the storage and preparation spaces, will retain their pure aesthetic. However, the room containing the incinerators shall be open to the families of the deceased should they choose to watch the procedure. It is to feel every bit as sacred as the chapel and other more clearly defined holy spaces. It shall receive natural light in some form, because this is not a ritual to be shrouded in darkness, but to celebrate conclusion of a life. The design of


the facility presents this as an option open in the formation of new cremation rituals as the practice gains popularity. It is particularly important for this space to shed the image of the crematorium as an inglorious strip mall stripped of sacredness. The crematorium has direct ties to the chapels. Depending on the ritual, the family may choose to watch the cremation after the memorial service. It may also be completed at a separate time from the ceremony, or be all together independent of it. Either way, there is a direct correlation between the chapel and the crematorium. It is not uncommon for the crematorium to serve the chapel spaces from below. The final programmatic element contains the most abstract of requirements. The columbarium is where ashes are stored. It is also the place that people begin to attach their memories of the deceased as it is their final resting place. Because of this, it is important that the environment is conducive to the preservation and evocation of memories. It is first and foremost a place of remembrance. However it must also continue the burden of easing the grief, and continuing the healing of the bereaved. Currently, most cemetery designs present wall niches as places to proceed directly too. However, this is not conducive to meditation. Rather, the journey to the spot of remembrance that harbors the most potential for healing. This path is then interwoven with the paths to the other major programmatic elements, creating unique moments. While it will primarily be an external space, it is enclosed in some areas as part of the narrative, for various religious and technical requirements of entombment, and so that a variety of spaces maybe to be sold. The size of the columbarium is dictated both by the need for incredible density and by the amount of space leftover upon the site by the preceding pieces of program. A policy has been constructed that 50% of the site is to remain undeveloped. The need for density stems from the very real cemetery land use crisis that serves as the basis for this project.


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Program Data Sheets

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Schematic Design Scheme 1: Center Block

This scheme provides a more concentrated mass. From a maintenance viewpoint, this is very advantageous. It also allows for the crematorium to serve the chapels and other spaces from below, as is typical in most modern facilities. The remainder of the site is left vacant, helping to distinguish the center from the areas around and to preserve the natural landscape. More importantly, it sets up a buffer between the center and the road, becoming an integral part of the journey. The way in which this plan interfaces with the topography allows for complex sectional relationships. It is also a scheme that maybe more easily replicated in other locations, which may be desirable to other cemeteries also facing land use crisis.

Crematorium

P P

Chapel Columbaria P


Scheme 2: Paths

This scheme provides strong opportunity for scripted journeys, which the cemetery typology is sorely lacking. The trail is designed in such a way as to clearly delineate between parking zones, connect nodes within the cemetery, and reveal specifically choreographed views. It also separates the various pieces of program, which can be seen in a positive light, as it separates the various funeral parties that maybe occupying the site simultaneously. Additionally, this leaves pockets of natural space left over, which provides a more calming setting, less maintenance, and potential for future expansion. The program is allowed to occupy the topography in a very localized way.

Crematorium

P P

Chapel Columbaria P


Site Assessment and Analysis The largest active cemetery in the world will reach capacity in 50 years. This has severe implications for architecture and urban planning. How do you solve the issue of land management while still paying reverence to the deceased? How can you ease the grief of the living? To explore these concepts an unused portion of Rose Hills will be used as slate. However, this is hardly a blank slate. It must respond to the above considerations, in addition to seamless integration with the existing facilities so as not to belittle the reverence of other sites within the grounds. The site is located on the back facing ridge of the cemetery, with a southeastern orientation, and close proximity to a nature reserve.


Nodes

1 1 2 3 5

4

6 1. Memorial Chapel 2. S ky Rose Chapel ( FLW employee designed) 3. Greek Orthodox Chapel 4. Sky Ridge Lawn 5. Garden of the Passage

2

6. Buddhist Columbaria

3


4

5

6


Site Photos


Aging Population age

time

between the years 2024-2036 we can expect a sizable portion of the largest generation in American history to pass

Cemetery Management graves

time

Within the next 10 years the majority of cemeteries will reach capacity. This has already become a huge issue in England.


Cremation % of cremations

time

Cremation is gaining popularity in the U.S. In California nearly 50% of the deceased are cremated.

Programmatic Arrangement Front of house Back of house

Stacked

Joined

Separated

These are the three programmatic arrangements most common in crematoriums. The stacked approach is arguably the most common, or at least influential. Back of house is often placed below grad so that it is out of sight, and so that it can most easily service the chapels.


Conflict vs utilitarian perception

sacredness of event

There is a lack of strong architectural articulation of the crematorium in America. It has been reduced to a utilitarian space, where it should have a sacred and phenomenological aspect. This is a missed opportunity.


Me r cu

ioxins

Emissions D

ry

Crematoriums emit some mercury and dioxins. However, these are drastically reduced when the gases from the chimney are cooled down before they enter the atmosphere. This heat can be captured and used to supply power to the grid. Proper management can result in a drastic decrease in emissions and an increase in the production of power.

Ritual

? No clear ritual exists regarding cremation. It is handled as a typical burial. Currently all major religions accept the prectice with the exception of Judism and Islam.


Final Project


Site Plan: NTS Floor Plans: NTS


Section A Section B


Final Abstract and Board

Rose Hills Crematorium The goal of this project is two-fold: to explore interment as an infrastructural issue and to examine the role that architecture can play in the process of grief and healing. The project is developed as a series of paths aimed at evoking different feelings. Specific paths have been designed for members of the funeral party, and for return visitors paying respect to the memorialized. A shifting relationship to nature, spatial experiences, and close attention to texture all work together to form an phenomenological experience stimulating all of the senses. The path acts as a columbaria, with enclosing walls containing spots for the ashes of the deceased. The crematorium and chapels are located at the crossroads of these paths. An open central courtyard separates the two chapels, and allows for circulation through the rest of the site. The buildings play with the concepts of light and heavy, reflecting their surroundings.


Appendix


Appendix 1 Church of the Light Architect: Tado Ando Location: Ibaraki, Osaka Year: 1989 Tadao Ando’s church reveals a masterful command of light, shadow, and tactile quality. The cube is side lit by a window from which it captures light reflected off a wall, and by the cut out of the cross at the far end of the sanctuary. This cross allows for the Christian emblem to dramatically cast its light across the room in a new way each day, playing with the shadows. Tactilely, the most dynamic element is the floor. Sloping slightly down to the alter, this gesture guides you to where your focus should be. This notion is reinforced by the simple materiality of the project, which consists of concrete and blackened wood. The concrete gives a sense of timelessness. Likewise the wood is something you can relate to as it ages, and to its warm texture.

Figure 1: Study of light and shadow in the church. © Tadao Ando Figure 2: Image of sanctuary. Notice the way the light enters the building, and the materiality. © flickr: MichaelScullion


Appendix 2 COMPETITION ENTRY FOR CEMETERY IN JÄRVA COMMON, STOCKHOLM Architect: NRJA Location: Stockholm, Sweden Year: 2010 Presented here are the size and space requirements for typical interment. The information is that supplied by Welters Organization Worldwide, a leading manufacture of funerary infrastructure. The purpose of presenting this information is to demonstrate an understanding for the technical requirements that must be known when designing a facility for the deceased. All images Š NRJA


Appendix 3 Skogskyrkogården (also known as Woodland Cemetery) Architect: Erik Gunnar Asplund and Sigurd Lewerentz Location: Stockholm, Sweden Year: 1915 The Woodland Cemetery has many admirable features. Its landscaping creates a deep and moving space for a variety of experiences. One of the most dynamic space is the large clearing with a hill topped with a small circle of tress. It is filled with symbolism, which may be reinterpreted in anyway one desires. When I visited the site during the winter time I was compelled to climb the hill to understand where I was, and gain a new perspective on what surrounded me. The simple gesture has a profound impact. The woods are the next important feature. Most of the graves are scattered throughout the natural thicket of trees. It’s a large and haunting place filled with trees. Yet, these woods occasionally give way to a clear axis’, directing one to specific parts of the cemetery. These breaks are also compelling. One of the most impressive aspects of this cemetery is that it may be experienced in a multitude of ways. No matter what the climatic condition, it instills a sense of something greater, as seen in the photos.

Figure 1: Trail to Resurrection Chapel during winter. Notice the strong axis. ©David Burns

Figure 2: Trail to Resurrection Chapel during summer. ©Flickr: Guidje Figure 3: A group journeys down the hill located at the center of the Woodland Cemetery. ©David Burns Figure 4: The same hill provides a new vivid spectacle for contemplation during the spring. ©Flickr: Christian Mezöfi


Figure 5: The cross overlooking the hill at sunset. Notice the lone tracks headed up the hill. This image provides an excellent emotional sense of how it feels to be here. © Flickr: Michael Cavén

Figure 6: Graves in the woods. Surreal and never-ending. © Flickr: Anrakki Monki

Figure 7: Candle light event in the wooded section of the cemetery. © Pelle Sten


Appendix 4 Holy Cross Chapel Architect: Erik Gunnar Asplund Location: Skogskyrkogården, Stockholm, Sweden Year: 1940 The circulation and scale of the spaces in Asplund’s Chapel are both notable. You enter through a small entrance that appears to be to the side of the main building. This presses people into a small waiting room where they wait for another small door to be opened leading them into a large sanctuary. You enter it from the side and must turn to the left to progress down into the seats. After the ceremony is over, you turn and face the wood and glass wall to the rear of the space. Initially, this wall gives you a glimpse of what is to come. This wall is then lowered into the floor, opening up the entire back surface to covered colonnade surrounded by nature. This space has grand proportions. Figure 1: The main sanctuary. The floor slopes down, tactilely drawing you’re your gaze to both the mural, the deceased and the family. Figure 2: The rear doors to the sanctuary. The wall slides into the ground at the conclusion of the ceremony. Figure 3: The courtyard outside of the chapel. This is the space you enter into at the end of the ceremony. In the background you may see the wall that slides down. All pictures © David Burns


Appendix 5 Chapel of The Holy Cross Architect: Pekka Pitkänen Location: Turku, Finland Year: 1962-67 After visiting the Chapel of the Holy Cross, what has struck me the most is the procession though the building. There is a clear journey. Shown here is a serial vision sequence that I have taken, followed by a sectional diagram of how the spaces felt and opened up internally. The program consists of two funerary chapels on the ground level, with crematorium functions placed below. Figure 1: The low covered walk way seems to hug you, drawing you into building, between nature and the manmade environment, or rather something that feels solid. Figure 2: After entering the first set of doors you are faced with another leading you to the sanctuary. The same solid wall from the breezeway follows you in along the right. The left side however opens up to a new level of space, feeling less confined and slightly freer. Figure 3: As you enter the chapel you find yourself on its side. The wall on your right grows to unseen heights, as hinted by the shadow lines of the balcony. An opening breaks through this wall to provide a natural light soffit, and place to sit if ones chooses to pause their journey. The lights in the rest of the space feel warm and inviting. Figure 4: Turning, one feels the space expand and lighten. Cool natural light from the far side fills the space, as well as that from two carefully placed skylights. The bench provided a sense of continuality that progress back to nature. All pictures Š David Burns


Figure 5: Sectional diagram of the procession to the sanctuary.


Appendix 7 Crematorium Baumschulenweg Architect: Axel Schultes Architekten & Charlotte Frank Location: Berlin, Germany Year: 1998 This non-denominational crematorium is located in suburban Berlin. To its guests it provides a totally new calming feeling from the context around it. Its limited material pallet and gentle detailing provide a clam and soothing sensory experience. The slits bisecting the ceiling provide narrow channels of light that guide you as you enter. In the center atrium you can feel the expansion of space. The souring columns feel like a random maze, just as the emotions one is experiencing in the space. Yet as you continue through it is simple understood. The columns divide the room into four spaces.

Figure 1: Ribbons of light guide one through the space as you enter Š Flickr:96dpi

Figure 2: Columns in the central room divide the space different sections. Š Flickr:96dpi


Figure 1: The sanctuary provides a calm and focus feeling in what feels like a timeless and natural space. © Flickr:Joaaso

Figure 1: The exterior of the building provides a calm approach. © Flickr:Joaaso

Figure 5: The limited color pallet provide one with a clam but dynamic intrepetation of the space. © Flickr:96dpi


Appendix 6 Statistics on Death and Homicide in Los Angeles Section 1 Death and Death Rates in Los Angeles County Information accessed from the Los Angeles Almanac on November 28, 2010 Information orginates from the California Dept. of Health Services (http://www.laalmanac.com/vitals/vi11.htm)

Deaths and Death Rates, 1920 - 2003 Los Angeles County & California Year

2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991 1990 1989 1988 1987 1986 1985 1984 1983 1982 1981 1980 Year

1979 1978 1977 1976 1975 1974

Los Angeles County Number of Death Rate* Deaths 61,072 6.1 59,586 6.0 59,774 6.2 59,032 6.2 59,614 6.1 58,923 6.1 60,070 6.3 59,686 6.4 60,953 6.5 62,442 6.7 62,250 6.8 61,708 6.9 61,585 6.9 62,700 7.1 64,940 7.3 64,851 7.3 64,237 7.8 59,919 7.5 62,250 7.8 60,202 7.7 58,427 7.8 58,368 7.8 58,101 7.8 59,551 8.0 Los Angeles County Number of Death Rate* Deaths 56,631 7.7 57,705 8.1 56,388 8.0 58,971 8.4 59,622 8.5 60,325 8.6

California (Statewide) Number of Death Rate* Deaths 239,325 6.7 233,246 6.6 232,790 6.7 228,281 6.6 227,965 6.7 225,450 6.8 223,438 6.8 222,308 6.8 222,626 6.9 222,854 6.9 220,271 6.9 214,586 6.8 214,220 6.9 213,766 7.0 215,930 7.4 215,185 7.6 209,395 7.6 202,826 7.5 201,815 7.6 195,470 7.6 188,018 7.4 188,255 7.6 184,732 7.6 186,428 7.8 California (Statewide) Number of Death Rate* Deaths 177,214 7.6 175,878 7.7 170,441 7.6 171,095 7.8 170,797 7.9 170,475 8.1


1973 1972 1971 1970 1965 1960 1955 1950 1945 1940 1930 1920

61,693 61,457 62,931 62,192 59,204 54,124 47,297 30,445 36,555 31,068 24,284 13,461

8.7 8.7 8.9 8.8 8.8 8.9 9.3 7.3 10.7 11.0 10.9 13.5

172,798 170,026 169,349 166,382 -----------------

8.3 8.3 8.3 8.3 -----------------

Note: Although these are certainly available somewhere, we were unable to obtain statewide death statistics prior to 1970. *Death rates are per 1,000 population. Source: California Dept. of Health Services




Appendix 8 Entombment Requirements The following is information regarding cremation ovens. The technical size requirements weigh importantly in the design of a crematorium. The information is that of a product by Mathews Cremation. http://www.matthewscremation.com

Power-Pak II Cremation Equipment The New Standard SMOKE-BUSTER™ 140 2 – Hours or Less Cremation Time Up to 4 Cremations in 8 Hours The Power-Pak II Cremation System represents the very latest in cremation industry technology. Designed to provide fully automated operation, the Power-Pak II is the fastest, most fuel efficient cremator in its class. AUTOMATIC OPERATION - The self-monitoring control system simplifies the cremation process, shutting itself off upon completion of the cycle. OPERATOR SAFETY - Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) listed represents the most widely recognized measure of safety and compliance, ensuring the safety of personnel and facilities. SMOKE-BUSTER™ 140 - This feature effectively consumes and destroys smoke and odor from the cremation process. HYDRAULIC LOADING TABLE - Conveniently allows one person to safely and easily load the case into the chamber, coolers, coaches and vans. POLLUTION MONITORING AND CONTROL SYSTEM - Automatically checks and regulates stack emissions. The Power-Pak II is pre-wired, pre-piped, and pre-tested before shipment, requiring only off-loading, one connection each for gas and electricity and placement of the stack we provide. QUIET OPERATION - Exclusive “Whisper Shield” allows operation without disturbing other services. RETRIEVAL SYSTEM - Retrieval of cremated remains is safe and quick with the convenient external collection hopper. OPERATING CONTROLS - Advanced PLC System - 10-inch Hi-Definition color touch screen monitor with simple graphic illustrations of everything happening during the cremation cycle. CREMATION CHAMBER FLOOR - Unique “Hot Hearth” design eliminates fluid runoff and minimizes fuel consumption. STAINLESS STEEL STACK - Non-corrosive with 4 1/2” refractory lining for strength, durability and safety. INSULATING THICKNESS - 12” of multi-component materials for longest lasting refractory and highest thermal efficiency. LOADING DOOR - Self-locking, self-sealing door opens and closes at the push of a button.


POWER-PAK II SPECIFICATIONS: Height: 8’4” / 2.54m Width: 6’5” / 1.96m Length: 14’6.75” / 4.44m Weight: 24,000 lbs. / 10,886kg Fuel: Natural or L.P. Gas (Diesel Oil available) Electrical: 220 volts, 1-phase/3-phase Control Panel can be located right, left or remote


Presented here are the size and space requirements for typical interment. The information is that supplied by Welters Organization Worldwide, a leading manufacture of funerary infrastructure. The purpose of presenting this information is to demonstrate an understanding for the technical requirements that must be known when designing a facility for the deceased. 

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Interview


The following is an email exchange conducted with Jeff Nordschow on January 20th, 2011. Mr. Nordschow is the Director of Finance and Cemetery Development for Rose Hills Memorial Park and Mortuaries.

How long can your facility remain in operation at its current rate? Is this a concern? Our Cemetery is actually the largest single location cemetery in North America. We have 1,500 acres dedicated for burial. At our current sales rate, we have at least another 50 years, so it is not quite a concern yet. With that said, others in the industry start developing mausoleums, columbariums, or provide double-depth (stacking) ground burials to get more burials in a smaller area of space.

What are your plans for future development? The cultural make-up of LA and surrounding counties continue to shift over time, along with the peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s final disposition preferences. We continue to monitor those shifts and adjust our development accordingly. As an example, overall preferences continue to shift toward cremation and so we have adjusted accordingly. Are there any unique problems that a facility of your size suffers from? One of our facility challenges is our capability to provide chapels to services that cater to the multiple cultures we service. Each culture have their traditions and prefer to have a service in appropriately accommodating chapels. Considerations include the overall theme of the building and interior design, keeping incents and other fragrances confined, the ability to serve small to large groups. Another challenge facing the industry is that as the cemeteries continue to build structures to obtain more density in the development plans, the margins are more difficult to maintain. As Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m sure you are aware, the cost of a funeral and cemetery service are quite high. It is important to keep the cost of the building down while keeping it an aesthetically attractive.


Works Cited


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Profile for David Burns

Thesis: Grief and Healing in Architecture  

A digital copy of my final thesis for my Bachlor of Architecture from Cal Poly Pomona. A physical version is available in the College of Env...

Thesis: Grief and Healing in Architecture  

A digital copy of my final thesis for my Bachlor of Architecture from Cal Poly Pomona. A physical version is available in the College of Env...

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