Columbarium at Sea / Tin-Shun But

With the world’s population growing exponentially, by 2030 there will be such a drastic shortage of land that there will be “no room for the dead” in several over-crowded cities. Tin Shun But’s columbarium in Hong Kong is a reaction to the growing population and the growing demand for land.  The design offers a new typology where the resting ground is anchored to the harbor, currently a neglected area with the potential to become a revitalized public space.

More images and more about the design after the break.

To put the need for resting places in perspective, in Hong Kong, land scarcity has created such soaring prices for graveyard plots that 90% of the dead are now cremated and so, the city will need to accommodate 400,000 urns niches in the next 20 years.   Furthermore, debates feud over whether to build a multi-story columbarium in the city for the urns, or leave the land to accompany growth.

The columbarium is about a journey from the land to the floating resting ground, which represents the transformation of the human body into ashes.  A place of collective memories, the ashes of the deceased are scattered or buried in urns.  ”The goal is to create an experience of “moving on to the next” – a synthesis between horizon and the datum of the ocean celebrating the lives that are buried in this space or scattered in the sea,” explained the designer.

About this author
Cite: Karen Cilento. "Columbarium at Sea / Tin-Shun But" 31 May 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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