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A PLACE

F O R CEREMONY

tom partridge


NARRATIVE ‘A Place For Ceremony’ is a purpose-built venue for ritual and ceremony in modern secular society. The aim of the project is to ]create a space that can be used for occasions, such as rites of passage, at which the feeling of gravitas normally associated with ‘sacred spaces’ is preserved without being specifically ‘religious’. Historically, significant life events are always celebrated, with specific rituals. In an increasingly secular society, in which the ‘religious’ no longer feels appropriate to many people, ‘A Place For Ceremony’ will replace the Church, the Mosque and the Temple as commonplace for ceremonies.


IN

OUT

SPIRITUAL REALM

The success of the ‘spiritual’ space within the building relies on the journey taken to get there; thus the building should be visible within its context to build anticipation whilst travelling to it.

HUNG STRUCTURE

Initial designs were a standard load-bearing structure, though it was impossible to congfigure the plans to allow for a car to park at street level. Therefore, the load bearing columns from initial schemes became cables, and the structure was suspended from the roof.

TIMBER SLATS

The timber slats of the internal secondary structure disperse light into the central ceremonial hall and also provide a natural / organic in contrast to the otherwise rectilinear form.

ABSTRACTION

Abstraction from reality around the key central ‘spiritual’ space (Ceremonial Hall) is required in order to distance the visitor from the outside world.

SHADOW CONDITIONS I felt natural light was an important aspect in creating the correctv quality of internal space, though the light is shaded from the East and the South. Therefore light enters the space via the roof and the North and West elevations.

KNOCK INTO ADJACENT BUILDING

The first and second floor of the adjacent victorian warehouse are presently disused, the ground floor is occupied by two bars. The use of these floors for the post-ceremony spaces is intended to re-establish a connection with the context.

LABYRINTH

As my site was so tight, and there is no room for external grounds, it was important to create a processional route around the Ceremonial Hall, rather than it being directly accessible.

GLAZING

Where possible natural light should be able to enter the building, as within the building the light is refracted through the hung structure and the cables.

RELEASE BACK TO STREET

The final release into the street is via a triple height space made within the existing adjacent building onto Edge Street. By exiting onto a different street, the congregation has made an emotional and physical journey, this also allows seperate congregations to use the spaces, without meeting each other.


Thomas Street Elevation


High Street Elevation


Edge Street Elevation


Rear Courtyard Elevation


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Location Plan @ 1:1000


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STREET LEVEL

1. Funeral car enters 2. From this point the procession commences out around the building. 3. A procession on the street is important, as any ceremony has a degree of public show, as a declaration or to command respect for the deceased. 4. from the entrance the procession then enters up the internal processional route.


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CEREMONY HALL

5. The processional route around the ceremonial hall is clad in timber slats making it semi-transparent. This creates a filigree for natural light to pass through, making it an ever-changing internal space. From outside the public can make out the procession travelling up to the Ceremonial Hall. 6. The Ceremonial Hall is a large open-plan space, featuring a colonnade of cables which marks the focus of the space. Central to the colonnade is a ‘coffin-lift’, this platform is lowered after a ceremony, so that the coffin can be returned to the funeral car, without having to be carried back along the processional route.


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POST-CEREMONY SPACES

7. After the ceremony the congregation moves from the ceremonial hall along an open corridor which overlooks High Street, the street they were on initially. This reference allows the visitor to relate to where they were pre-ceremony and where they are now (physically and more importantly, emotionally). 8. The Post-Ceremony Space is a large double height space, with a food preperation area and toilet facilities. This space is used for the congregation to socialise among themselves, so that they can collectively accept a loss, or acknowledge a couple. The balcony and large windows in the space give the congregation a connection to the wider community (9).


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BALCONY & ADMINISTRATION

The Balcony provides extra space for congregation members, and also acts as a ‘contemplation space’ for casual visitors. As with many churches and religious structures, they are often viewed with some interest by the public. When ‘A Place For Ceremony’ is not in use, it would remain open to the public; so that people can enjoy the ‘spiritual’ quality of the space.


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ROOF PLAN

The lattice at roof level supports the internal structure, the seemingly chaotic layout of the cross-members is determined by the locations of the the frames and the cables internally. The lattice provides further refraction of light and dispersion of shadows against the internal surfaces.


Steel roof ‘lattice’ supports internal hung structure. Steel ‘goalpost’ primary structure Steel cables

Louvres - spacing between louvres gets closer towards the top of the building to provide protection against solar gain when the sun is high.

Brick infill walls provide stiffness to primary structure

Where necessary glass balustrades provide protection from falling.

Secondary hung structure

The suspended concrete floors are cast around a steel framework which is hung from the steel cables.

SECTIONAL PERSPECTIVE Not to scale.


A Place For Ceremony