Project Team: Robert Hutchison, Scott Claassen, Siyu Qu, Xiaoxi Jiao, Kejia Zhang
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
MEM(ento): Something to make one remember
MEM(oir): A record of a thing to remember
MEM(orandum): A reminder
MEM(orable): Worth remembering
MEM(orabilia): Things worth remembering
MEM(ory): The ability to recall
This project incorporates a new family chapel and columbarium adjacent to an existing winery. The design addresses the dualities of lucidity and dementia. The proposed chapel and columbarium is designed for the family that owns and operates the winery. In contrast to the adjoining horizontal winery facility, the proposed structure develops a vertical relationship between earth and sky. Access to the structure is through a descending path into the semi-subterranean chapel portion of the building. When seated, visitors are at eye level with the horizon, providing the opportunity to contemplate the rural landscape and Wye River below. The pyramidal superstructure of the chapel, clad in shingles that are treated with pine tar, the same treatment found in the stave churches of Norway, 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. All of the materials found in the chapel and columbarium are treated, stained, or painted black.
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 is proposed to provide 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. 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.