Jury feedback summary
Under a Blanket of Plants references Latvian folklore that regards death as a celebration of life that is one with nature. It proposes a new ground plane of gently rolling hills pocketed by niches that extend deep into the ground. The modulation of the landscape defines a series of spaces that, according to the designer, “feel at once intimate and expansive.” According to the jury: “The idea to accommodate the columbarium niches in an innovative way, under a gentle rolling hills landscape, makes this proposal unique and special. It is a place to celebrate life and death, and life again. It subtly reforms the landscape and creates a place of memory and recollection, while also allowing new wild forest life to flourish. It manages to be inconspicuous and unique at the same time, blurring the notions of natural and artificial using a minimum of elements.” It is recommended that the ground section be further explored, both in order to access the niches as well as the ground composition, since it would require massive land forming.
Jury feedback summary
Halo is a proposal for a circular burial chamber, sunken into the cool underground to limit its visual impact. Its form and symmetry were chosen to establish a sense of serenity and calm. The form is centered on a pond, its roof planted with flowers chosen for their various bloom periods, creating an ever-changing crown of colors and fragrances related to the changing seasons. The jury commented: “A spiritual and elegant proposal. The idea of the “flower circle” transforms the area into a place that commemorates all forms of life. There is conceptual simplicity in the way the design’s section carries through the concept to realization. The project interestingly combines a number of motives that invite the visitor to contemplate life and time and finiteness: water mirroring the sky, the sunken setting in the ground, the flower bed blooming and decaying throughout the seasons, and the circular arrangement around a central space. The design elegantly deconstructs the notion of a sacred place, playing with the idea of interment below ground, light as a spiritual element and nature working its way into the columbarium while creating a satisfying equality among all those interred. An elegant and peaceful space of contained memories.” One design recommendation is to consider an organization of niches that is more experimental and less traditional.