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.

Setting Materials for Sky Mausoleum

Setting Materials for Sky Mausoleum

Although this week has been busy with lots of work at the architecture firm, I found a little bit of time every evening to continue developing the interior design of Sky Mausoleum. As I mentioned last week, my goal was to design seating along the walls in every mausoleum, adjust light fixtures, design the stone container for holding the ashes of loved ones, and setting materials. Here’s how far the interior design has come since last week.

Designing the Furnishings

One night, I focused a few hours on redesigning the stone container into 12 containers with a hinged stone veneer. The thought was that a family who purchased one of the mausoleums would have enough space to store the remains of their loved ones. Therefore, this design allows every family to store the remains of at least 12 of their loved ones. In the future, the space could be reconstructed with more containers.

During a different night after dinner, I focused on realigning the sculptural pendant light fixtures so that they were centered over every stone container. The pendant light will illuminate the room starting at the center and the curved walls will be darker. This way, the focus remains on the center of the room where a family’s loved ones reside.

Lastly, I designed the seating in the room along the curved walls so that families can sit together and focus their attention towards the center of the room. The seats will follow the curve of the wall and provide enough space for a large family to gather and spend time with their loved ones. During the daytime, natural light will pass through the stained glass windows and various colors of light will mix within the space and travel along the curved walls behind the built-in seats.

Selecting Materials

Once the design of furniture was finalized, I focused my time on setting materials in every mausoleum. At first, I thought this would be a very difficult task because I thought the spaces would be a combination of a variety of materials. However, as I was developing a material palette, I decided that the materials should be simple and fade into the background so that the focus of the space can remain at the center of the room.

So, I decided to use white alabaster tiles on the floors and walls as well as solid alabaster for the construction of the stone container. My decision to use stone throughout the space is because of its permanence and timeless aesthetic. The ceiling of the space will be white painted plaster and the built-in seating will be maple wood.

You can see the outcome of this material palette in the first rendering below and also a test of using the white alabaster tiles on the ceiling in the second rendering. I also just realized that I need to shift one of the pendant lights over in the large mausoleum. That aside, I still haven’t made a decision, but I’m leaning towards the alabaster tiles throughout or white painted plaster walls and ceilings with alabaster tile floors. I’ll make a decision by next week!

Conclusion

This week, I really felt the pressure of working full time as a practicing architect and trying to work on the Sky Mausoleum in the evenings. I’ll admit that it’s very difficult to juggle both. There were days when I would get home and just want to go straight to sleep or even watch a movie and give my brain a break.

Anyhow, my goal is to continue working on the Sky Mausoleum’s material palette, finalize the interior scheme, and switch my focus to the exterior. I’ll need to figure out whether or not a friend of mine could head out to the project site and take photographs that I could use in my renderings, or perhaps take a trip down there myself, visit my family, and photograph the site. I’ve also set a deadline for the Sky Mausoleum project which will be the end of October. Stay tuned for more!

Initial Renderings for Sky Mausoleum

Initial Renderings for Sky Mausoleum

Interior Design Progress of Sky Mausoleum

Interior Design Progress of Sky Mausoleum