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Life cycles have an interesting relation to waste to energy structure as it dictates growth via population and energy, and facilitates new beginnings and economic efficiency. Learning about this process in China, we found death a way for people to spiritually come together and be one with the divine proposing that the waste to energy process can aide to the ideas.

Partner: Suren Sivaram
Spring, 2020

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A crematorium placed within the trash. The idea finds itself being very problematic. Are we mere dust to an earth biome or are we situated for something more? But is trash just waste or is there a beauty within the process of its life cycle? Historically our disgust towards identifying bodies to trash limits our understanding of the complexities hidden within our self’s. We are not just machines; we have a sensibility and compassion that strives for our well-being. 

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Our site is located in Xiong'an, China. It is a purposed new city that will operate as a new growth pole for the country’s economy and also aim to curb urban sprawl, bridge growth disparities, and protect ecology. The move will help phase out some non-capital functions from Beijing, explore a new model of optimized development in densely populated areas, restructure the urban layout in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and cultivate new innovation-driven engines, according to the circular.

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site plan and analysis


However, this project asks to find waste to energy process more than just a scientific means to make more energy for the consumer, but that the process of objects becoming trash itself is a multi-layered proposition that in turn dissipates a past to make room for the present. We understand that trash does not hold the same value as a body, a body retains memory and importance to the hearts of many as trash serves a purpose that diminishes over time. The design of this project is conceived with these ideas at heart. Strong lines must be drawn and layered between these two programs, but at the same time, it should be perceived as one monolith, one being, one body.


undergo ritual





remains recycled

return to atmosphere


cleaning process





remains recycled

constructions, etc.

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Two intertwining volumes were created in which the factory creates a C-shape in the plan that wraps around the crematorium. Similar to the body-to-skin relationship, the facade as skin wraps around the ritual programs inside. By having different layers of programs, a journey throughout different layers was designed to create this poetic narrative that people can reflect on.

The copper screen facade wraps around the factory suggested a transparent layer that allows the public to have a peek of the machining process inside. Copper had an industrial appearance that would be rusticated throughout time, which connects the concept of identifying life and cycle.

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axonometric drawing


program diagram


circulation diagram

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cremetorium program

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factory program

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funeral hall



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ground floor plan


Section A-A


Section B-B

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