Experimental architect Margot Krasojević has proposed a fantastical, solar-powered crematorium in Santa Monica that would not only use renewable energy for cremation, but would also give people the option to turn the ashes into tattoos, a concrete reef or even fireworks. In addition to the solar-powered cremation chamber, the design includes an open-plan chapel with a congregation area and an “animated zoetrope garden of remembrance” featuring holographic projections of the deceased.
Because Margot Krasojević’s ECO CREMATION – Holographic Recycling Cremation project was envisioned for Los Angeles, the architect took inspiration from the city’s piers, boardwalks and coastline to create the undulating architecture and landscape. According to the architect, an average of 20,000 kilograms of wood are used every year for funeral pyre cremations. To reduce the environmental footprint and operating costs of the crematorium, Krasojević proposes powering the facility with solar energy and a backup generator fueled by biomass, biogas or a CNG or PNG backup burner. Parabolic reflectors would be installed around the solar cremation chamber to ensure the strongest solar concentration.
“As the intention is to provide an ecologically friendly pyre, the solar chamber uses combined layers of dichroic and Fresnel glass to concentrate on the sun’s rays,” the architect explained. “The dichroic panels give the illusion of a burning fire, which is an aesthetic used in ceremonial cremations if requested — a spiritual, ceremonial alternative to an open burning fire that pollutes the environment. Once again, the origin of funeral cremations and their current uses throughout the world are addressed by the portrayal of smart material reflecting a dynamic light during the process.”
After processing, the ashes can be stored for collection underground or used to memorialize the deceased by transforming them into tattoos, fireworks or a concrete mixture for the creation of an ocean reef. All services would be provided at and by the crematorium. Metals collected from the ashes would be recycled or sold for industrial purposes. At night, the landscape around the crematorium would be illuminated by digital projections of the deceased.
Images via Margot Krasojević Architects