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Memento Mori – Palliative Care by Joshua Downie

This project has emerged from a number of anthropological observations on societies unequivocal attitude toward death. The taboo like nature of death places the dying and their loved ones in a compromising state. The project uses palliative care as a platform to explore and atone these issues and recognizes the underlying concept of interstitially not only as a state of being but as an architectural concept.

The bodies of the dead, which demand attention regardless, become a strong focus of the project. The removal of the bodies becomes an elaborated process that is not only used as a profound ritual for the deceased’s loved ones but also as a platform to engage the public.

In critiquing our current practices toward death, the project aims to realize the potential in the cultural enrichment associated with ceremonies of death. This provides rituals in comforting the families as well as providing a catalyst for a more benign attitude toward death.

The project is located in the culturally significant former HMAS Platypus Site in Neutral Bay, Sydney. The site’s strong maritime and industrial past, provides a strong sense of memory and nostalgia with limitless potential for reinterpretation.