Project Team: Robert Hutchison, Scott Claassen, Siyu Qu, Xiaoxi Jiao, Kejia Zhang
Rendering by Tristan Walker
Location: Wye Mills, MD
Seattle Architectural Foundation Model Exhibition, 1/19/16 – 2/11/16
Large Model: Blackened Steel Base, Cast Concrete, Painted Wood
Conceptual Model: Wood Base, Cast Concrete, Painted Wood
Drawings: Pencil on Trace
Photography: Mark Woods Photography, Jill Hardy
One of the nine projects that make up the Memory Houses, the Columbarium is designed for the family that owns and operates the winery. In contrast to the adjoining horizontal winery facility, the Columbarium develops a vertical relationship between earth and sky. Access to the structure is through a descending path into a semi-subterranean chapel covered by a pyramidal superstructure clad in shingles that are treated with pine tar (the same treatment found in the stave churches of Norway). The pyramidal roof strongly references the old milk house on the property. Random wood shingles in the roof and walls are replaced with glass shingles, providing a dappled light in an otherwise dark interior, while alluding to the ubiquitous abandoned barns found throughout the countryside. The columbarium is located below the chapel, and utilizes a corbelled brick structure similar to that found in the root cellars of nearby farmhouses.
The father of the family, an avid model railroader and train buff, requested that access to and from the site be limited by railway. A railway spur from the nearby Maryland & Delaware Railway line provides access to the site. Casks of wine will be regularly delivered by rail from the winery. In the event that a family member dies, services are performed at the nearby Wye Church, and the ashes of the deceased are then delivered by a funerary train to the site, and interred in the columbarium.
The railway provides daily deliverance of life, with the occasional comfort of death.
Norwegian Stave Church + Milkhouse + Vernacular Barn