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THE

PAVILIONS

OF

SHADOWS THE

LOS

ANGELES

HILLS


THE SHADOWS Pavilions of the Los Angeles Hills

A Thesis Presented to the Undergraduate Faculty of The NewSchool of Architecture & Design

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements of the Degree of Bachelor of Architecture

by Moises Robles June 2017 San Diego, CA

III


C O P Y R I G H T

N O T I C E

© 2017 Moises Robles ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

V


T H E S I S

A B S T R A C T

In western culture, not much has altered the anachronistic design and thought of death in terms of how a person is: grieved, buried, cremated, celebrated, and remembered. The thoughts of life in reflection to death are commonly seen as moments of grief, regret, and guilt. Society fixates on everlasting youth and not accepting aging as a process, let alone death. It is ultimately death that gives life meaning, yet this is often forgotten due to western culture’s disconnection to passing. This thesis proposes a modern-day pilgrimage focused on tranquility, opportunity, and memories by creating urban spaces of self-reflection and contemplation. By exploring form and light as a method of design, this thesis aims to provide a new secular public space to grieve, evoke emotion, and solve the issue of perception of the duality life and death. Keywords: death, grief, sacred, reflection, memory, emotion

VII


THE SHADOWS Pavilions of the Los Angeles Hills

A Thesis Presented to the Undergraduate Faculty of The NewSchool of Architecture & Design

by Moises Robles

Approved by:

Undergrad Chair: Date:

Studio Instructor: Date:

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D E D I C A T I O N

You have taught me to crawl, to walk, to run. You have shown me determination, dedication, and discipline. You have given me love, hope, and faith. For your advice, your patience, and your understanding. This thesis is for you Mom.

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A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S

The completion of this undertaking could not have been possible without the participation and assistance of various people, to whom I am eternally grateful. To my family, for their remarkable ability to support me on my challenging journey to attain my architecture degree. To my instructor Tom Mulica, for his unwavering support, guidance, and insight throughout my thesis. To my thesis advisor Philipp Bosshart, for his ability to be a mentor and a friend. To Ana and David, for allowing me to travel the world, which changed my life. To Lionel Rodriguez, for his capability to be a lifelong mentor and role model. And lastly, to Sanbir Sidhu, Alicia Madriago, Ana Correal, and Ashley Wagner. You have all found ways to impact, aid, and facilitate my success in your own creative ways. Thank You.

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C O N T E N T S

0I

00

Design Intent

4

Problem Statement

8

02

Thesis Abstract

VII

Critical Position

10

Introduction

18

Dedication

XI

Thesis Statement

12

Beyond the Grave

19

Acknowledgements

XII

Concept 14

XIV

Culture 21


03 Case Studies

28

Form 29 Church in La Laguna

31

Timmelsjosh Museum

33

Material 35 Brion Cemetery & Tomb

37

Chapel in Valleaceron

39

04

Concept 41

Programming

64

Igualada Cemetery

43

Schematic Design

65

Crematorium Kedainiai

45

Initial Design

67

Ritual 47

Design Development

69

Kumano Ancient Trail

49

Iterative Design

71

Santiago de Compostela

51

Final Design

73

Site Analysis

54

Ritual 80

Bibliography 93

Preliminary Sites

56

Death 82

List of Images

95

Site Selection

58

Life 84

List of Illustrations

96

Summary 60

Rebirth 86

Final Boards

97

XV

05 Feedback & Evaluation

92


0I


D E S I G N

I N T E N T

The intent of this thesis – The Shadows, Pavilions of the Los Angeles Hills – is an exploration of allowing form and light a method of guiding and evoking emotion throughout spaces in order to solve an issue of the perception of life and death.

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The boundaries which divide life from death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins? – Edgar Allan Poe


Figure 1.1


P R O B L E M

S T A T E M E N T

Death in western culture continues to be a taboo topic that is associated with regret, guilt, sorrow, and grief. Current architecture does little to address the contemporary methods of mourning in today’s society, let alone a reflection of one’s own life. The idea of processing death through public expressions of place has become increasingly removed from daily life, where there are few rituals associated with loss and have been generally replaced by contrivances for coping with grief.

8


Figure 1.2


C R I T I C A L

P O S I T I O N

New York Times editor William McDonald wrote late last year, “Death may be the great equalizer, but it isn’t necessarily evenhanded.” While he was referring to pop culture deaths in 2016, it left a clear reminder that death does not perform on an even playing field. Time is ticking, and death is inevitable. In today’s society, we live in an era afraid to age, afraid to die, afraid to grieve. This thesis aims to allow the ordinary individual a secular ritual pilgrimage to pavilions of space and light in order to evoke self-reflection, contemplation, and remembrance.

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T H E S I S

S T A T E M E N T

Western culture fixates on everlasting youth and not accepting aging as a process, let alone death. In the face of death, we are under the imperative of using our lifetimes effective and efficiently, cherishing every single moment, yet this is often forgotten due to western cultures’ disconnection to passing. This thesis proposes three pavilions in the Los Angeles Hills that will house a modern-day pilgrimage focused on tranquility, opportunity, and memories. By creating urban spaces of self-reflection and contemplation, this thesis aims to provide a new secular public space to grieve.

Figure 1.3

12


REMEMBRANCE

REFLECTION

CONTEMPLATION

MEMORY

Figure 1.4


C O N C E P T

This thesis concept is to incorporate the life of a person through promenade and procession in order to allow the user a sense of reflection and contemplation through architectural design, all while taking past and current examples within typologies of death to inspire further thought and development.

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02


I N T R O D U C T I O N

In western culture, not much has altered the anachronistic design and thought of death in terms of how a person is: grieved, cremated, buried, celebrated, and remembered. In a world where a century is now a human lifetime, the thoughts of life in reflection to death are commonly seen as moments of grieving, regret, and guilt. Kathleen Eileen Gray, an Irish architect and pioneer of the Modern movement in architecture states that in order to create, one must first question everything. Where does architecture lie in the spectrum of life and death? Does architecture have a responsibility of processing death? What space does it become? With cultural shifts and architectural adaptation western culture can begin to approach life and death as a sacred, positive perspective of life through memories and comfort in a new architectural typology, by processing the duality of life and death through public expressions of place. In order to make this concept possible; the idea of life and death, culture, ritual, the grieving process, and memory, must be addressed, analyzed, and manifested into space and form.

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B E Y O N D

T H E

G R A V E

As stated by Benjamin Franklin, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.� Many things in this world are a constant flux. Life has endless possibilities, yet the result will always be the same, certain death. As less and less people become familiar with death due to medicine and modern technology, the idea becomes further and further removed from daily life. Although longer lives, lower death mortality rates, modern medicine, and technology being an improvement of our culture, the benefits have created a disconnection between life and death. Western culture has begun to fixate on the idea of being young and vigorous for many reasons. Sports, Fashion, and Media have created a disconnection between allowing western culture the ability to accept the cycle of life. Estimations for the peak performing age within athletes of both sexes is twenty-six; with talent, skill, and performance showing linear trends (Allen, Hopkins, 2015). Due to an athletes’ performance being directly correlated to their earnings and income, it is imperative for these athletes to push to stay fit, relevant, and young.

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Fashion further sets this idea of living young, staying young, into motion for western culture. Fashion and media’s fascination with trendy children, from famous kid stars to models, has made our society even further youth obsessed by matter of clothing, lifestyles and even looks (Buckingham, 2008). Adults and society alike aim to look and feel younger. From the sports we play, music we listen to, clothes we wear, and the media which tells us to do so, our culture is afraid to age.

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C U L T U R E

Although the final outcome of death is the same for all humans, cultures vary in how they conceptualize death and what happens when a person dies. Some cultures see death as a transition to various forms of existence, others view death as a pattern of birth and rebirth, while some see death as the final end. These diverse conceptions of death have multiple impacts. These influences include: lifestyle, readiness to die, the degree to which death is feared, expressions of grief and mourning, and the nature by which death rituals are performed. Although death is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a permanent cessation of all vital functions: the end of life� (2016), each culture has notions of how death should occur. While the end of life experience is universal, the most common reaction to the thought of death or dying is fear. American cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker (1973) is among the many theorists who believe that the fear of death is a major motivator for human behavior. It is this fear of death that propels humans to produce achievements that transcend even their physical mortality; living forever through an action, and/or memory.

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Western culture has perpetuated the fear of death through film, music, media, and fashion. The United States as well as most societies in the West are an individualistic deathdenying and defying society, often concerned with being forgotten and cast out of memory. Entertainment, pop culture, and fashion individuals are immortalized by western society. It rewards the perception of youth and further provokes the idea of western society being afraid to age; afraid to die. A cultural focus must be made in order to prove that life is not simply about an extension or prevention of death, but finding a comfort in a life well lived and a lifetime of memories.

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As an architect, you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown. – Norman Foster


03


C A S E

S T U D I E S

In order to extract potential thesis designs and proposals, case studies were an effective and essential tool for exploration. These case studies became inspirations to concepts and designs which work well throughout the past, present, and future. These projects were related to the typology of death and consisted of but were not limited to: cemeteries, mausoleums, crematoriums, synagogues, cathedrals, memorials, churches, mosques, chapels, and tombs. The case studies consisted of sacred architecture, where humans attempt to bring themselves closer to the divine by creating a space to hold powerful contact as well as bringing space and time together. The main components analyzed from these case studies were form, materiality, concept, and ritual.

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F O R M

Case study form extraction and analysis was an important part in the design process. Form in architecture is the final output. The shape and formation in design is an element which humans can feel and does not require conceptualization. Since the intent of the thesis was to evoke emotion, the value of appearances was essential. The following projects were a guide to design in form making and were analyzed for their simplicity, complexity, beauty, usage, and ability to serve its purpose while fitting into its surroundings.

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Architecture is the thoughtful making of space.

– Louis Khan


C h u r c h

i n

L a

L a g u n a

Architect: Fernando Menis Office: Menis Arquitectos Project Location: Tenerife, Spain Site Area: 550 m2 Completion: 2008

Figure 3.11

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Iglesia Santisimo Redentor in La Laguna consists of four concrete volumes separated from one another by sliced openings and allows light to penetrate the spaces in order to evoke a spiritual presence. The project encourages reflection and meditation and allows the space to reflect timeless emotion. Menis, the architect of the design, describes the volume of the building as an essential use of materials by treating concrete as if it were liquid stone and capturing light as if it were waterfalls (Menis, 2012). A chosen extraction for this thesis was the emphasis on light and its ability to highlight form and materiality through various media.

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T i m m e l s j o c h

P a s s

M u s e u m

Architect: Werner Tscholl Office: Werner Tscholl Architects Project Location: Brenner Pass, Italy Completion: 2010

Figure 3.12

33


The Timmelsjoch Museum in Brenner Pass comprised of a concrete structure that cantilevers 16 meters onto the landscape and mountain pass road. Tscholl’s intention was to allow the building to resemble an erratic boulder and pay tribute to the pioneers of the High Alpine Road while the projection grants the user of the museum the ability to view the Passeiertal Valley below. The key component of design in the Timmelsjoch museum is its ability to evoke a sense of freedom and levitation by the use of the form’s protrusion which is an element chosen in this thesis design.

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M A T E R I A L

Case study material extraction was necessary to the conceptual emotions which this thesis aimed to capture. Due to memory and grief being a large feature of this thesis’ concept, material selection was paramount. The selection of materiality was chosen due to its ability to age well and “hold� memories therefore metals such as zinc, copper, corten steel, and bronze were candidates for accents throughout the project. Woods such as ipe, teak, redwood, and cedar were also an initial conceptual material for its elegance through its aging process. Throughout case study selection and extraction, earth materials such as stone, travertine, marble, and concrete served as main materials of design, for this and its aesthetic, these became cornerstone elements which would serve as building blocks to this thesis.

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B r i o n

C e m e t e r y

a n d

T o m b

Architect: Carlo Scarpa Project Location: San Vito d’Altivole, Italy Site Area: 2,000 m2 Completion: 1978

Figure 3.13

37


Considered one of Carlo Scarpa’s most important and complex works, the Brionvega Cemetery and Tomb exemplifies unbelievable attention to detail and is mainly built in concrete. The project is also comprised of materials that age well such as: bronze, glass, ivory, granite, brass, copper, and marble. Due to these materials, Scarpa expected this project to only get better over time. The aesthetic and atmospheric qualities of concrete in the Brionvega Cemetery and Tomb are reflected upon Scarpa’s thoughtful form-making, not only through its materiality, but through his use of light upon the project. The interaction of concrete to light, shadow, volume, and emotion was used so elegantly in the Brionvega Cemetery and Tomb, that inspiration from this concept is seen throughout the thesis design.

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C h a p e l

i n

V a l l e a c e r o n

Architects: S.M.A.O Project Location: Castille la Mancha, Spain Completion: 2001

Figure 3.14

39


The Chapel in Valleaceron by SanchoMadridejos Architecture Office is a design with a focus on materiality, form, and artificial lighting. Its folded box form and design gives emphasis on the concrete material used. Light thus takes on the role of a second material in the Chapel – a material that contrasts with the concrete – fragile, changing, mobile, unstable; dominating or vanishing (Sancho, Madridejos, 2012). S.M.A.O. therefore exhibits and celebrates the fluidity and density of concrete and allows the material and light to speak for themselves. This interaction of using concrete and light as equally important materials became embodied in this thesis.

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C O N C E P T

A vital factor in the development of this thesis is the conceptual analysis of case studies. Due The concept of life and death is such a taboo topic in western culture, that analyzing case studies for concepts that shift the thought of perception was essential.

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I g u a l a d a

C e m e t e r y

Architect: Enric Miralles Office: Estudio Carme Pinos Project Location: Barcelona, Spain Completion: 1994

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The Igualada cemetery is a project that challenges the traditional notions of what makes a cemetery (Kroll, 2011). Architect Enric Miralles’ concept for the project followed that of a river of life that eroded the banks by which the burial walls were located. The smooth curves and dynamic shapes of the walls are a representation of life’s fluidity and ultimate transiency. Miralles concept also conceptualized the poetic ideas of a cemetery for the visitors to begin to understand and accept the cycle of life as a link between the past, present, and future. The idea of accepting the cycle of life and evoking feelings of self-reflection, contemplation, and remembrance was a thesis concept which branched off from the Igualada Cemetery.

Figure 3.15

44


C r e m a t o r i u m

K e d a i n i a i

Architect: Gintautas Natkevicius and Adomas Rimselis Office: Architektu Biuras G. Natkevicius ir Partneriai Project Location: Kedainiai, Lithuania Site Area: 775 m2 Completion: 2011

45


Figure 3.16

The crematorium in Kedainiai by Gintautas Natkevicius and Adomas Rimselis not only contained a strong concept, but broke political and religious barriers. Despite having increasing cremation traditions in Lithuania, religious and political mindsets halted the idea of a crematorium in Kedainiai, where such mentality was not surpassed until 2011. The concept of design revolved around a Japanese style courtyard that created an intimate space and allowed an emotional filter to reduce the human’s experience of stress. Natkevicius (2012) states that the project’s surroundings did not have a sense of sacred place, however the unaesthetic industrial environment provoked a creation of a minimalistic and even ascetic scenario by distancing itself from its surroundings (p. 3). A desire of design for this thesis was the cultural shifts created by the crematorium in Kedainiai.

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R I T U A L

A critical component of this thesis was an analysis of ritual as part of the design process. Key case studies to design consisted of pilgrimage routes where the path is often part of the destination. Pilgrimages have traditionally held religious or spiritual associations; however, the modern pilgrim does not necessarily adhere to any faith to find pilgrim trails rewarding. Ritual for the modern pilgrim has shifted as ways to test perseverance, cleanse the spirit, remove daily routine, as well as find moments of self-contemplation. In terms of this thesis the path was part of the destination as well as allowed for procession in order to evoke feelings of self-reflection, contemplation, and remembrance.

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K u m a n o

A n c i e n t

T r a i l

Project Location: Kii Peninsula, Japan Completion: 10th century

Figure 3.17

49


The Kumano Kodo, or Kumano Ancient Trail, is a pilgrimage route to Kumano, part of the mountainous Kii Peninsula which stretches south from the Kansai cities of Osaka, Nara and Kyoto, Japan. The trails thread their way through deep valleys, mountains and small villages to offer a varied hike for over four days. This pilgrimage route guides the user to three Kumano Shrines: Kumano Hongu Taisha, Kumano Nachi Taisha, and Hayatama Taisha as well as numerous protector shrines and tea houses. These trails were popularized in the 10th century by the Imperial family as well as nobility by ways of seeking salvation rather than common religious practices. The ability to break away from daily routine and allow for contemplation was made evident by the Kumano Ancient Trail case study and would further be developed in the design of this thesis.

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S a n t i a g o

d e

C o m p o s t e l a

Architect: Fernando de Casas Project Location: Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain Site Area: 7,000 m2 Completion: 1211

Figure 3.18

51

C a t h e d r a l


Santiago, is a small town in Galicia Spain with much tourism due to the famous Camino de Compostela. The Camino is a road that often begins in France and takes you to parts of Northwestern Spain and ultimately to the Cathedral of Santiago. This walk, which tourists take every year, is for many, a religious experience, although some seek this time to reflect and get to know one’s self, regardless of religion. This ritual walk is a reminder that – similar to the narrow pilgrim route which is taken to Santiago – the road which leads us to life is narrow. The Camino of Santiago de Compostela was a clear reminder that this thesis needed a concept where ritual was part of the design process.

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Figure 3.2


S I T E

A N A LY S I S

Is the concept of a secular location for death site specific? Can a site selection for public space of self-reflection, contemplation, and remembrance be optimized? Site Analysis led to the desired conditions of: accessibility to site, ability to have a sense of sacredness, topography changes in order to allow for vantage points and views, and the opportunity for isolation.

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Figure 3.31

Figure 3.32

Figure 3.33

Figure 3.34


P R E L I M I N A R Y

S I T E S

Initial site selections included Fort Rosencrans Cemetery, Borrego Springs, Mount Cabrillo, Joshua Tree, downtown San Diego, and downtown Los Angeles. All site selections were evaluated for their ability to hold a duality between concept and site. The site fitting into the concept was just as important as the concept fitting into the design. A secondary filter was created in order to optimize site location and create a holistic design that connected a sense of place. Therefore, Borrego Springs and Joshua Tree were further surveyed and studied in order to optimize site with conceptual design. Although both locations contained many desired conditions such as access to site, sense of sacredness, vantage points, topography, and isolation, the idea of place was not clearly identified, the idea of memory and culture was needed. To build on the site, is to hold on to its spiritual power and to prolong it through the continued existence of the building and the repeated rituals that take place inside of it.

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+

Griffith Park Los Angeles, CA APN: 5593002912 Area: 640 acres Zoning: OS-1XL Fire Hazard Severity Zone

34.1366° N, 118.2942° W


S I T E

S E L E C T I O N

The Hills of Los Angeles made for a clear representation of what a secular space could be when modern life removes the possibility of processing death through public expressions of place. The site allowed for an isolated ritual walk from parking to the project location, while maintaining a connection to its landscape and city life. Topography also granted clear views of Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles, cultural centers which further enable our society to fear aging and death. Griffith Park located in the Hills of Los Angeles was therefore the last resting place of this thesis design.

+ B

SITE

Figure 3.4

58

A

TRAILS


Figure 3.5


S U M M A R Y

Case studies brought forth a clear understanding of form, materiality, concept, and ritual for this thesis as well as how it would come together in a holistic design. Typologies analyzed created a matrix narrowing down the intent of the project as well as program. This ultimately led to a realization of what this design was and what it was not. This study narrowed the scope of the project into memorial style public pavilions in Griffith Park, the Hills of Los Angeles.

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04


P R O G R A M M I N G

Background research and case studies brought forth a clear understanding of program for the thesis design. Initial program revolved around typologies of mausoleums, crematoriums, cemeteries, and museums, however due to the concept relying closer to a memorial, pavilions held an ideal fit. The concept of the programs for the pavilion were broken down into three ideas: Death, Life, and Rebirth with a pilgrimage style ritual walk before arrival to this public space. The walk prior to arrival of the project aimed to prepare the individual into the idea of accepting the cycle of life, while the pavilions aimed to allow the user an opportunity to grief and once again value life in a secular public space. The ideas of death, life, and rebirth saw an opportunity to expand the pavilion into three separate moments, all intended to house various feelings and emotion. These spaces had less to do with interior program and more about a modern-day pilgrimage that aimed to hold memories through spaces of self-reflection and contemplation within its public pavilions.

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D E S I G N

TO UC H

S C H E M A T I C

ACCEPTANCE SEE

GRIEF

BARGAINING

Figure 4.1

HEAR

DEPRESSION

ANGER

DENIAL 65


D E S I G N

MEDIA

FEAR

S C H E M A T I C

Figure 4.2

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I N I T I A L

D E S I G N

Figure 4.3

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I N I T I A L

D E S I G N

Figure 4.41-4.49

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D E S I G N

D E V E L O P M E N T

Figure 4.51

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D E S I G N

D E V E L O P M E N T

Figure 4.52

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D E S I G N

D E V E L O P M E N T

Figure 4.53

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D E S I G N

D E V E L O P M E N T

Figure 4.6

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F I N A L

D E S I G N

5 10 20

iii

ii

I.

RITUAL

II.

ENTRANCE

i

III. M E M O R Y

SITE PLAN // PAVILIONS

Figure 4.71

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F I N A L

D E S I G N

5 10 20

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0.

RITUAL

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ENTRANCE

2.

DEATH

3.

MEMORY

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PAVILION

ONE // DEATH

Figure 4.72

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D E S I G N

5 10 20

8

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6 5 4

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CHILDHOOD

5.

ADOLESCENCE

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7.

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8.

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AGE

PAVILION

TWO // LIFE

Figure 4.73

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5 10 20

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REBIRTH

10. R E M E M B R A N C E 11. R E F L E C T I O N 12. R E T U R N

PAVILION

THREE // REBIRTH

Figure 4.74

76

40

80


F I N A L

D E S I G N

Figure 4.81

77


2634’ 276’ 1/10

B

Figure 4.82

79

A


R I T U A L

Origins of great pilgrimages of the middle ages lie in the belief that making the long journey to places such as Rome, Santiago de Compostela, and Jerusalem would result in blessings, usually of either good health or forgiveness of sins. The modern pilgrim does not necessarily adhere to any specific faith nor to certain beliefs, therefore it is imperative for the modern ritual to revolve around a sense of self. This ritual pilgrimage in the Hills of Los Angeles allows for the user to remove themselves from the daily routine of modern day disturbances and technology, all while walking through thirty minutes of mountainous terrain and beginning the cycle of contemplation. Studies show that a minimum of thirty minutes of physical activity has shown to improve blood pressure, reduce heart disease, enhance mental well-being, and has been just as effective at alleviating depression as treatment (Warburton, 2008). The beginnings of this modern-day pilgrimage therefore prepare the user a chance to experience: grieving, mourning, reconciliation, remembrance, and reflect on life through the transiency of death.

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Figure 4.91


D E A T H

Pavilion One is a space for the contemplation of death. As the entrance of the project, Pavilion One incorporates the threshold of the end of the ritual walk and the beginning of altering one’s perception of life. The entrance contains square stepping stones ranging from one to nine square feet and aim to resemble moments of one’s life; some tougher and longer than others. The fifteen-foot opening to the space is angled and cave-like allowing the user a moment to begin to assess scale in relation to self. Rigid rectilinear walls cover the space creating dark corners. This pavilion contains only one source of daylighting, a 400 square-foot courtyard with an eight-foot monolithic marble centerpiece meant to have implications of death due to its tombstone resemblance. Due to its dim lighting and western culture’s perception of death being dark and ominous, memory begins to play a part in this procession. A soft curved wall is placed at the end of Pavilion One giving the user its first moment of flow and direction. The curve creates a guide to a transitional space meant to prepare the user for Pavilion Two. A seven-foot opening with a minor incline guides the user through a dark hallway. Its mystery, broken only by slivers of light puncturing through the ceiling walls. The user, needing to adjust their vision, is still merely in the encompassing protective hollow space leading up to life; the concrete womb. The corridor, which seems to be never ending, approaches an abrupt opening, birth.

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Figure 4.92


L I F E

Pavilion Two is a space for the contemplation of life. Four interconnected volumes are to follow, each larger than the previous. Each representing a space in time, a moment, a memory. The first, a volume small in size, comfortable in scale. The size of the space is a reminder of a childhood room. Concrete coats the walls, and the light which perforates the entirety of the space comes from the top corner as it fills the room. The height and area, still juvenile in size, increases as the user reaches the second of four volumes. The space, although doubles in size, maintains its scale and serenity. As the doorway to the third space approaches, the volume and scale increase becomes evident. The user, now out of scale begins to focus on the sliver of light, the dim sound of falling water in the background, and memories of life. Moments and spaces of the past: birth, childhood, and adolescence are projected into thought as the space of adulthood comes into contemplation. The last volume, largest of all, creates an uncomfortable impression of transiency. The only hope, lies on an incision placed on the top corner of this dark cube, allowing for light to fall on the concrete and capture its texture as it falls on the wall of the space. The last mass allows for a visual linearity to all previous spaces, allowing the user a moment to contemplate the volumes set before him, much like life itself. A hallway now stands between Pavilion Two, the contemplation of life, and self-reflection.

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Figure 4.93


R E B I R T H Pavilion Three is a space for the self-reflection of rebirth. As the ending of the project, Pavilion Three incorporates the culmination of all emotions that coincide with life, death, memory, comfort, and grief, all while encompassing a space for self-reflection. The space begins with a visual of a large living fruitless olive tree placed within the center of a circular courtyard, the first and only example of life. The sound of running water now echoes through the chamber of Pavilion Three, filling the space with tranquility. The emotion, only complimented further by the warmth of light disbursed through the annular opening placed above. As the user explores further, they are encountered by a pool of water, some mere inches deep which reflects the space around. This reflection guides the view towards a concrete cantilever, protruding out onto the mountain side. An aperture at the end of this view creates an open air cropped view of Griffith Park; in the background, a view of Los Angeles. The view is a constant reminder of the reality of life; that although life and death contain many sorrows and grief, memories and self-reflection allow for a chance to find an importance. The user must now go and face that reality. A chance to face life, and ultimately, face death. As the user turns to head out of the pavilions they notice an incision made upon the reflection pool. This, the origin of sound which has echoed throughout the volumes of the spaces. A waterfall grows from this origin and hits the surrounding hills to a body of deep blue water forty feet below. The water is collected, and much like life itself, allowed to cycle once more.

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My fear was not of death itself, but a death without meaning. – Huey Newton


05


Figure 5.1


F E E D B A C K

A N D

E V A L U A T I O N

Foregoing the final critique, it is imperative to understand that the scope and intent of The Shadows is based off a process of exploring the concept of death and how humans deal with the idea in modern day. This thesis revolved around the concept of an urban space intended to provide a new secular way to grieve and aimed to resolve this issue by form of this thesis throughout the process of design. In some reviews, jurors questioned whether this thesis falls in the realm of art and sculpture or architecture. The Shadows explored the method of allowing form and light an opportunity to guide and evoke emotion throughout spaces in order to solve an issue of the perception of life and death. By using this form of procession in order to guide design and storytelling, I believe the project was successful in presenting a different way of architectural perception.

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B I B L I O G R A P H Y

1. Allen, S. V., & Hopkins, W. G. (2015). Age of Peak Competitive Performance of Elite Athletes: A Systematic Review. Sports Medicine, 45(10), 1431-1441. doi:10.1007/s40279-015-0354-3 2. Barley, L. (2013, October 29). Crematoriums and Mausoleums: The Architecture of Death. Retrieved November 04, 2016, from the Architizer website: http://architizer.com/blog/crematoriums-and-mausoleums-the-architecture-of-death/ 3. Becker, E. (1973). The denial of death. New York: Free Press. 4. Buckingham, D. (2008). Youth, identity, and digital media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 5. Carlo Scarpa’s cemetery for Brionvega boss | Architecture | Agenda. (2013, December 23). Retrieved April 15, 2017, from Phaidon website: http://www.phaidon.com/agenda/ architecture/articles/2013/december/23/carlo-scarpas-cemetery-for-brionvega-boss/ 6. Chapel in Valleaceron / S.M.A.O. (2009, April 29). Retrieved December 10, 2016, from the Arch Daily website: http://www.archdaily.com/20945/ chapel-in-villeaceron-smao 7. Death. (2016). In Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved December 5, 2016, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/death 8. Eggener, K. (2010). Cemeteries. New York: W.W. Norton & Library of Congress. 9. Graham, C., Gibbs, M., & Aceti, L. (2013, May 03). Introduction to the Special Issue on the Death, Afterlife, and Immortality of Bodies and Data. The Information Society. Doi 10.1080/01972243.2013.777296 10. Greenfield, R. (n.d.). Our First Public Parks: The Forgotten History of Cemeteries. Retrieved November 02, 2016, from the Atlantic website: http://www.theatlantic.com/national/ archive/2011/03/our-first-public-parks-the-forgotten-history-of-cemeteries/71818/ 11. Klanten, R., & Feireiss, L. (2010). Closer to God: Religious Architecture and Sacred Spaces. Berlin: Gestalten. 12. Kroll, A. (2011, January 12). AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles.

Retrieved February 08, 2017, from Arch Daily website:

http://www.archdaily.com/103839/ad-classics-igualada-cemetery-enric-miralles 13. Laderman, G. (2003). Rest in peace: A Cultural History of Death and the Funeral Home in

Twentieth-century America. New York: Oxford University Press.

14. Menis, F. (2012). Holy Redeemer Church - Fernando Menis Architect.

Retrieved May 07, 2017, from Menis.es website: http://menis.es/holy-redeemer-church/

15. Parafianowicz, L. (2012, March 24). Crematorium in KĂŠdainiai.

Retrieved January 02, 2017, from Mark website:

http://www.mark-magazine.com/news/crematorium-in-kedainiai

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16. Richardson, P. (2004). New Spiritual Architecture. New York: Abbeville Press. 17. Sacrare. (2016). In Merriam-Webster.com.

Retrieved December 7, 2016, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/death

18. Sancho, J. C., & Madridejos, S. (2012). S-M.A.O.

Retrieved September 01, 2016, from Sancho-Madridejos website:

http://www.sancho-madridejos.com/ 19. Schulz, R., & Curnow, C. (1998). Peak Performance and Age Among Superathletes:

Track and Field, Swimming, Baseball, Tennis, and Golf. Journal of Gerontology, 43(5).

doi:10.1093/geronj/43.5.p113 20. Sherer, P. (2006) The Benefits of a Park: Why America Needs More City Parks and Open Space,

Parks for People, San Francisco: The Trust for Public Land

21. The Timmelsjoch Experience / Werner Tscholl Architects. (2012, June 13).

Retrieved April 01, 2017, from the Arch Daily website:

http://www.archdaily.com/243603/the-timmelsjoch-experience-werner-tscholl-architects 22. Warburton, D. E. (2006). Health benefits of physical activity: the evidence. 23. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 174(6), 801-809. doi:10.1503/cmaj.051351

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L I S T

O F

I M A G E S

Figure 1.1 Bartlett, L. (2010, July 12). Skull Sketch [Ball Point Pen Sketch]. Retrieved December 7, 2016, from http://hambuster122.deviantart.com/art/Skull-Sketch-171047432 Figure 1.2 Da Vinci, L. (2013, September 25). Studies of the Fetus in the Womb [Black chalk, sanguine, pen, ink wash on paper]. Retrieved December 12, 2016, from https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/ leonardo-da-vincis-embryological-drawings-fetus Figure 3.11 Menis, F. (2012). Holy Redeemer Church [Digital image]. Retrieved May 7, 2017, from http:// menis.es/holy-redeemer-church/ Figure 3.12 Rainer, A. (2013, June 13). Timmelsjoch Experience Pass Museum [Digital image]. Retrieved April 1, 2017, from https://www.dezeen.com/2012/01/09/the-timmelsjoch-experience-pass- museum-by-werner-tscholl/ Figure 3.13 The Brion Cemetery in Altivole [Digital image]. (2013, December 10). Retrieved April 15, 2017, from http://www.italianways.com/the-brion-cemetery-in-altivole/ Figure 3.14 Chapel in Valleaceron / S.M.A.O. [Digital image]. (2009, April 29). Retrieved December 10, 2016, from http://www.archdaily.com/20945/chapel-in-villeaceron-smao Figure 3.15 Cabrera, D. (2013, May 19). Igualada Cemetery [Digital image]. Retrieved April 07, 2017, from http://www.archdaily.com/375034/ad-classics-igualada-cemetery-enric-miralles- carme-pinos/519598b2b3fc4be3da00007b-ad-classics-igualada-cemetery-enric-miralles- carme-pinos-photo Figure 3.16

Hajilaiyev, E. (2013, June 26). Crematorium in Kedainiai [Digital image]. Retrieved March 26, 2017, from http://www.archilovers.com/projects/90428/crematorium-in-lithuania.html

Figure 3.17 Kumano Kodo [Digital image]. (2013). Retrieved May 1, 2017, from http://www. viaggigiappone.com/product/hakone/il-cammino-sacro-del-giappone/ Figure 3.18 Catedral de Santiago [Digital image]. (2013). Retrieved December 22, 2016, from http://www. catedraldesantiago.es/en Figure 3.31 Hickman, M. (2016, February 21). A beautiful resting place [Digital image]. Retrieved December 20, 2016, from https://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/photos/12-most-stunning-N- American-cemeteries/beautiful-resting-place Figure 3.32

[Untitled Photo of Mount Cabrillo and Ocean]. (2015). Photo by Moises Robles

Figure 3.33 Anzo-Borrego Springs [Digital image]. (2015). Retrieved November 28, 2016, from http://www. visitcalifornia.com/ca/destination/spotlight-anza-borrego-desert-state-park Figure 3.34

Image of Los Angeles [Digital image]. (2013) Retrieved December 20, 2016, from Google Earth

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I L L U S T R A T I O N S

Figure 1.3

Conceptual Thesis Collage. Moises Robles. 2016

Figure 1.4

Concept Space Mapping. Moises Robles. 2016

Figure 3.2

Iterative Site Plan Charcoal Drawing. Moises Robles. 2016

Figure 3.4

Griffith Park Site Analysis. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 3.5

Griffith Park Macro Site Analysis. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.1

Conceptual Critical Position Schematic Collage. Moises Robles. 2016

Figure 4.2

Conceptual Thesis Statement Schematic Collage. Moises Robles. 2016

Figure 4.3

Schematic Floor Plan and Lighting Layout. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.41

Preliminary Entrance Lighting Condition and Section. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.42

Preliminary Pavilion One Lighting Condition and Section. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.43

Preliminary Corridor Lighting Condition and Section. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.44

Preliminary Pavilion Two Entrance Lighting Condition and Section. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.45

Preliminary Pavilion Two Lighting Conditions and Section. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.46

Preliminary Pavilion Two Lighting Conditions and Section. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.47

Preliminary Corridor Lighting Condition and Section. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.48

Preliminary Pavilion Three Lighting Condition and Section. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.49

Preliminary Pavilion Three Cantilever Lighting Condition and Section. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.51

Pavilion One Ritual Space Charcoal Drawing. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.52

Pavilion Two Contemplation Space Charcoal Drawing. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.53

Pavilion Three Reflection Space Charcoal Drawing. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.6

Cantilever Lighting Condition and Section Charcoal Drawing. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.71

Site Plan Charcoal Drawing. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.72

Pavilion One Floor Plan Charcoal Drawing. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.73

Pavilion Two Floor Plan Charcoal Drawing. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.74

Pavilion Three Floor Plan Charcoal Drawing. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.81

Final Design Render. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.82

Ritual Walk Site Section Charcoal Drawing. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.91

Pavilion One Interior Render. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.92

Pavilion Two Interior Render. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 4.93

Pavilion Three Interior Render. Moises Robles. 2017

Figure 5.1

Final Design Mixed Media Charcoal and Render Drawing. Moises Robles. 2017

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+

REMEMBRANCE

Death in western culture continues to be a taboo topic that is associated with regret, guilt, sorrow, and grief. Current architecture does little to address the contemporary methods of mourning today’s society, let alone a reflection of one’s own life. The idea of processing death through public expressions of place has become increasingly removed from daily life where there are few rituals associated with grieving and are generally replaced by contrivances for coping with grief.

MEMORY Griffith Park

34.1366° N, 118.2942° W

Los Angeles, CA APN: 5593002912

Western culture fixates on youth and not accepting aging as a process, let alone death. Yet, it is death that ultimately gives life meaning. In the face of death, we are under the imperative of using our lifetimes to the utmost, cherishing every single moment, yet this is often forgotten. This thesis proposes three pavilions in the Los Angeles Hills that aims to house a modern-day pilgrimage that holds tranquility, opportunity, and memories through spaces of self-reflection and contemplation in order to shift the thought of life and death to a positive remembrance. In doing so, allowing the user to grief and reflect, and once again value life in a secular public space.

Area: 640 acres Zoning: OS-1XL Fire Hazard Severity Zone

134

HOLLYWOOD

HEIGHTS

BURBANK

GOLF

COURSE

DOWNTOWN

L.A.

CONTEMPLATION YOU ARE HERE

REFLECTION

HOLLYWOOD

RESERVOIR

HOLLYWOOD SIGN

OBSERVATORY

Is the concept of a secular location for death site specific? Can a site selection for public space of self-reflection, contemplation, and remembrance be optimized? While initial locations of Borrego Springs and Joshua Tree contained many desired conditions such as access to site, sense of sacredness, vantage points, topography, and isolation, the idea of place was not clearly identified. The idea of memory and culture was needed in order to interconnect concept and site.

T h e

S h a d o w s

MACRO

Pavilions of the Los Angeles Hills

Brion Cemetery and Tomb Carlo Scarpa San Vito d’Altivole, Italy

Chapel in Valleaceron S.M.A.O. Castille la Mancha, Spain

DEATH MEMORY PLACE

CULTURE

Igualada Cemetery Enric Miralles Barcelona, Spain

BIRTH

Crematorium Kedainiai Gintautas Natkevičius, Adomas Rimselis Kedainiai, Lithuania

B

Kumano Ancient Trail Architect Unknown Kii Peninsula, Japan

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral Fernando de Casas Galicia, Spain

CONCEPT

Timmelsjoch Pass Museum Werner Tscholl Architects Brenner Pass, Italy

RITUAL

Church in La Laguna Menis Architects Tenerife, Spain

MATERIAL

FORM

A Thesis by Moises Robles

A

97

SITE

The Hills of Los Angeles made for a clear representation of what a secular space could be when modern life removes the possibility of processing death through public expressions of place. The site allowed for an isolated ritual walk from parking to the project location, while maintaining a connection to its landscape and city life. Topography also granted clear views of Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles, cultural centers which further enable our society to fear aging and death.

LOS

ANGELES

ZOO

5

+ B

SITE

A

TRAILS


5 10 20

40

80

9

12

10

11

9.

REBIRTH

10. R E M E M B R A N C E

REBIRTH

11. R E F L E C T I O N 12. R E T U R N

PAVILION

THREE // REBIRTH

5 10 20

NEW YORK TIMES EDITOR WILLIAM MCDONALD WROTE LATE LAST YEAR, “DEATH MAY BE THE GREAT EQUALIZER, BUT IT ISN’T NECESSARILY EVENHANDED.” WHILE HE WAS REFERRING TO POP CULTURE ICON DEATHS IN 2016, IT LEFT A CLEAR REMINDER THAT DEATH DOES NOT PLAY ON AN EVEN PLAYING FIELD. WE LIVE IN A SOCIETY AFRAID TO AGE, AFRAID TO DIE, AFRAID TO GRIEVE. MY THESIS AIMS TO ALLOW THE ORDINARY INDIVIDUAL A SECULAR RITUAL PILGRIMAGE TO PAVILIONS OF SPACE AND LIGHT IN ORDER TO EVOKE EMOTIONS OF SELF-REFLECTION, CONTEMPLATION, AND REMEMBRANCE.

7

6 5 4

MEMORY

4.

CHILDHOOD

5.

ADOLESCENCE ADULTHOOD

7.

OLD

8.

CONTEMPLATION

AGE

PAVILION

TWO // LIFE

5 10 20

ONE // DEATH

80

8

6.

PAVILION

40

PAVILION

TWO // LIFE

PAVILION

40

80

THREE // REBIRTH

CONTEMPLATION

0

2634’ 276’ 1/10

B

A

0. 1.

SITE

RITUAL

3

ENTRANCE

2.

DEATH

3.

MEMORY 2

SECTION 0

PAVILION

ONE // DEATH

1

5 10 20

40

80

REMEMBRANCE

iii

ii

I.

RITUAL

II.

ENTRANCE

i

III. M E M O R Y

SITE PLAN // PAVILIONS

SECTION // MEMORY//REFLECTION

98

SECTION

REFERENCE


A

THESIS

BY

MOISES

ROBLES

The Shadows - Architecture Thesis 2017  

2017 Architecture Thesis

The Shadows - Architecture Thesis 2017  

2017 Architecture Thesis

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