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MEMORIES ON THE BISCAYNE BAY

Project Site: Miami, United States / 2017

Senior Undergraduate Studio / Critic: Steven Harris

How long does it take for a man to be completely forgotten?

 

Three generations - 100 years.

Every 100 years, a man is forgotten by the world.

Every 100 years, the rising sea level submerges a layer of memory.

Every 100 years, the submerged memory becomes a historic site defined by UNESCO.

After hundreds of years, the long lost memories are discovered again by the archaeologists from the future.

Through recoding sea level rises and submerging the memories we leave behind - whether a name, an object, an urn or a body - this cemetery is, at the same time, a ruler for the rising sea level, a calendar for the passing of time, an embodiment of history, and a world to commemorate old memories while discovering new.

This is a cemetery on the Biscayne Bay, and the memories of Biscayne Bay.

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Concept Sketch: Sea Level Rise in Miami and the submergence of the cemetery. According to UNESCO’s definition, any trace of human activities submerged for over 100 years is considered as a historic site and thus preserved. Along with the rise of sea level, the memories in the cemetery will be submerged, recorded and preserved as part of history. In this cemetery, the height of each level is calculated according to the sea level rise in every 100 years. Thus, a layer of cemetery gets completely submerged after each century. The underwater layer then reaches the 100 years definition of UNESCO, and becomes a protected heritage.

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Plan: the different scales of cemetery buildings and forms accommodate different burial rituals.

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Sections: the submergence and rediscovery of the cemetery.

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Section: burial activities and the cemetery at night.

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Different forms of burial & the rediscovery after 100 years: on the left, the sections show different structures making space for various burial activities. Above, the section shows the condition of the cemetery after its submergence and the future rediscovery that could happen here.

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