Journey of an Architect is a blog started by Tim Ung to document his journey to design 30 projects by the age of 30 (May 2020). His posts focus on his design process, thoughts, struggles, and successes throughout his journey.

Design Progress on Sky Mausoleum

Design Progress on Sky Mausoleum

With very little time in my evenings to focus on designing the 13x30 Sky Mausoleum project, I’ve been developing my proposal whenever I have an hour to devote to the project. This week’s focus was on developing a typical floor plan of the mausoleum floors. While working on the layout of interior spaces, I made a decision to offset the mausoleum floors from the ground floor to create an outdoor space on the first floor of the mausoleum. Here’s a design update for Sky Mausoleum.

Offsetting the exterior walls of the mausoleums

My decision to offset the mausoleum floors was influenced by the issues that I encountered while designing the mausoleum spaces. The thought was that the mausoleums would be located along the façade of the building so that natural light would pass through the stained glass windows and create a beautifully lit and intimate space.

However, with the original footprint of the building, the rooms came to 650 square feet, which I thought was too large for a mausoleum space. Rather than reducing the square footage by moving the interior walls, I decided to offset the entire shell of the building inward by one structural grid. This reduced the square footage of the mausoleums to 325 square feet. Proportionally the square space will create an intimate space for families visiting their loved ones.

Aesthetically, this design decision provides the Sky Mausoleum with a base that will be used for public programs and the main entrance to the mausoleum. On top of the public programs, there will be an outdoor space that provides areas for all visitors to sit and contemplate. This design decision also pulls the exterior facades on two sides of the building off of the adjacent buildings so that natural light can reach the stained glass windows.

Developing Sky Mausoleum’s Floor Plan

Once the changes were made to the exterior of the building, I switched my focus to the floor plans of the mausoleums. I started by enclosing all of the mausoleums along the exterior façade, which follows the structural grid of the building. Each room is essentially a square except for two of the corners, which are twice the size of the other mausoleums.

After the mausoleum spaces were in place, I placed the exterior doors that lead out to the terrace and switched my focus to the core of the building. My ideal location for the elevators was at the center of the building, so I roughly placed the elevator shafts there. Then, I incorporated two large bathrooms that would serve the entire floor on one side of the building and located the stair towers so that they were spaced far enough apart for two exits on the ground floor.

This typical mausoleum floor plan will be replicated on all of the floors above with the exception of the doors leading to the terrace. Those areas will be replaced with additional mausoleum spaces on the upper floors.

Next Steps

After I replicate the typical mausoleum floor design on all of the upper floors, I’ll be switching my focus to the ground floor plan. I’ll need to develop several layouts for the public programs on the ground floor, which will also require some brainstorming on what types of programs would work with the sky mausoleum. Hopefully, the location of the stair towers won’t be inconvenient for the ground floor layouts!

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