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lyla hoon


a place to die: the architecture of an anticipated death

This dissertation explores the intersection of architecture and death, specifically that from a terminal illness. The experience of dying, death and loss is ever changing and utterly unique to each individual, therefore this dissertation is viewed through the theoretical lens of phenomenology, enabling me to study the impact of the subjective experience of death and loss on the built environment.

The architectural response takes the form of a palliative care facility situated in George, Western Cape, and is conceptually grounded in poiesis. The scheme is divided into two sections, one for day patients and one for in-patients.

The design process pushed me to rethink my existing understanding of design components and processes, from the laying out of the plan to the creating of openings, because in the architecture of an anticipated death, we cannot consider a door to be a mere product selected from a catalogue. It represents a threshold, an existential space wherein a daughter pauses before entering to see her father for the last time.

narrated presentation

visual presentation