A surreal “monument” full of warmth
As a place for pet funeral services, the essential nature of the project is to pay deep respect and remembrance to the moment of parting of a pet. The site gives concrete expression to the act of remembrance through the refinement of the axis and inner architecture, while incorporating appropriate social modules and homogeneous elements such as corridors and columns to respond positively to the heavy emotions of individuals.
▲视频，Video © lion
▲连廊，Connecting corridors ©立明
The new layout echoes the interior with the outside landscape through floor-to-ceiling windows, optimizing light and changing the sense of lack of space created by the original building’s half-height window fittings. The mood of the installation is used to connect the interaction between the environment and the individual. The interior of the windows space houses a farewell room and lounge, and the array of building corridors gives the space a unique solemnity, as if walking along the platform of a steam train to bid farewell to a friend on a long of the windows space house so-ceiling windows carry the light load evenly distributed across the facade, bringing light into the room and acting as a filter for the transition between different atmospheres. The matrix walls are spaced at the same interval to create a dignified spatial atmosphere, and as light intervenes, the established state of shadows spills into the beige space and dissipate like life into the earth at night, conveying this pre-determined mood of the site to the individuals in the space. The space is painted with a large area of textured beige emulsion paint, with mirrored floor-to-ceiling windows and connecting corridors, creating a solemn ritual atmosphere and light and shadow in a delicately controlled manner.
Given the relatively limited light in the project, the colour beige was used as the main colour block for the walls and roof of the main part of the venue to enhance the feeling of light in the venue, while also increasing the sensitivity of the venue, which further enhances the spiritual interaction between the owner and the pet. The professionalism of the venue meets the psycholothe color beige was used as the main color blocks and encourages people to participate in the funeral activities in their own way. The earth tone chosen for the overall visual identity system suggests the connection between spirit and land.
▲旋转门，Revolving door ©立明
In the new layout, the revolving door plays an important role as a spiritual metaphor, where the solemn silence of entering the premises and the relief of leaving are externalized by the revolving form, a good emotional shift that allows a new way of evaluating the traditional entrance. The air conditioning vents in the space are set in the form of circular apertures in the ceiling plane, and the overall squareness of the site is neutralized by a number of curved elements punctuated by detail.
▲入口左侧展示墙，Display wall to the left of the entrance ©立明
On the wall to the left of the entrance are photographs of the pet’s life moments. This area focuses on the symbiotic and dynamic spiritual bond between people and their pets and helps individuals develop a deeper understanding of the humanism behind pet burial.
▲前台，Reception counter ©立明
The ceiling lighting consists of large areas of soft foil and track. The lighting is designed to provide clear orientation when walking. The reception counter is defined as a flexible and memorable area, beige travertine worktop is backed by a lacquer-free panel cabinet in the same colour, it is used to store archival records and other written material, the consistency of colour ensures that the individual’s mind and emotions are kept calm.
▲展示区，Display area ©立明
The display area, covered by a huge soft foil ceiling, has a strong sense of ritual, with pet owners able to choose from a variety of funeral paraphernalia and souvenirs. The circular walkway emphasizes the social atmosphere of the workshop exhibition by creating more cultural identity through observation and experience, further diluting the commercial aspect. At the end of the central axis, four interconnected towering partitions are delineated by human intervention, creating a ‘monument’ that transcends reality. As a place of respect for the individual, the display area will support more bespoke and curated services. To accommodate this commercial activity, generous displays and open storage spaces have been left to facilitate inquiries and purchases from pet owners. In addition to the tall, soft film ceiling, the venue also features flooring in the display area, flexibly dividing the area properties in a tiered manner.
The use of the existing building frame structure and the internal setback structure to develop the available dimensions, the 4 x 7 modular open grid as the basis for the facade display, and the mirror treatment to give the area a more solemn visual expression. The pet farewell house does not acquire monumentality by virtue of its architectural form or proposition, but relies on the continued spirituality of the people to achieve a degree of permanence. Therefore, instead of the traditional vending display, the space is a workshop with a pet sales space spread out in the center of the space, acting as a small event center and contributing to the community-like interactive nature of the area. Gentle blocks of colour and light work together to convey a visual message of calm and tranquillity. The display area has a commercial metaphor as well as a more important message about culture, with a large number of open display modules allowing individuals to have a deep engagement with pet funeral culture during the experience and consumption.
▲空间中的几何图形，Geometric shapes in space ©立明
Through extensive human intervention, the space incorporates primitive patterns of circles and rectangles into the interior of the space, enriching the visual tension of the facade while also symbolizing the original transformation and circulation of energy. Here, the building is not just a backdrop or a container, but acts as a spatial guide, guiding the interior space and the individuals to create a dialogue and evoke their emotional resonance. In contrast to the solemn ceremonial spaces of the past, the venue emphasizes a calm and reflective atmosphere in which pet owners in mourning can feel a sense of inner peace and tranquillity. The installation and atmosphere are intended to convey a spiritual suggestion that this vibrant, cosmopolitan city is home to a building of farewell and memory.
▲展示区细节，Details of the display area ©立明
The minimalist structural shape anchors the attention fully to each item placed inside.
▲手工坊，Handicraft Workshop ©立明
The handicraft workshop is defined as a semi-enclosed, dynamic space where the blocky, custom-made furniture envelops people in a warm embrace. The geometric form of the assemblage contains a metaphor for the fact that ‘life’ and ‘death’ are not absolute opposites. The site encourages people to socialize and balance their emotions, using a variety of mechanisms to make the process of animal burial a calming experience. The minimalist language of the installation highlights the warm textures of the wood used.
▲冥想室，Meditation Room ©立明
By means of a sunken sandpit acting as an organizing axis between the handicraft workshop and the meditation room, this formal relationship is reinforced by the huge cylindrical structure characteristic of the meditation room, creating a strong sense of the sacred. The site redefines the boundaries of thought with a monumental inner architectural language, allowing the guiding force of a religious nature in the ambient space to be able to help the individual seek inner energy balance. Inside the entrance to the cylindrical space is a small-scale space of rectangular modules, and the semi-enclosed architectural, architecture helps to create an inwardly oriented site with good sound insulation. The straight sunken sand pond also contains the religious metaphor of ‘one sand, one world’, where crossing the sand pond represents the soul’s journey through the miniature processes of the many worlds of the Ganges, culminating in a constant spiritual peace in the oasis at the end.
▲冥想室细节，Details of the meditation room ©立明
The heavy interior architecture and latex painted surfaces further enhance the aural, tactile, olfactory and visual sensory boundaries of the individuals within the meditation room.
Underneath the vast spatial scale, the primitive geometric relationships are easily reminiscent of the expression of divinity in religious architecture.
A series of architectural features either directly or indirectly influence the emotional perception of people during the worship of their pets.
▲冥想室看向展示区，Meditation room looking towards the display area ©立明
The view from the meditation room towards the display area, with four interconnecting towering partitions, provides an uninterrupted look across the room while distinguishing the boundaries of the different functional areas.
▲寄存室，Storage room ©立明
Two benches are set up in the side storage room, this allows pet owners to take a physical break while gazing the memorial video. The open compartments in the storage room adapt to the structure of the walls to maximize the volume of storage space, and the irregularity of the structuadapt to the structure of the walls rules. The different sizes and forms of open compartments imply variety and individual choice, and for families with many pets, this arrangement allows for advance planning for future shared storage.
▲寄存室走廊，Storage room corridor ©立明
As a corridor flanking the space for the storage of cremated pets, the unobstructed colonnade form symbolizes the architectural allegory of circulation and reincarnation.
▲放映室，Screening Room ©立明
A screening room is placed at the corner of the site. The darkness of the area is a perfect fit for the screening, and while comforting pet owners, it will also be an opportunity to convey the growing interest in pet funeral culture. The deep, dark physical space of the screening room is pixelated to provide a gradual change from dark to light, which dissolves the inevitable darkness of the building’s corners and the sense of isolation.
▲博物馆，The museum ©立明
The installation of mirrors brings more latitude to the sensory experience, and the contrast between the virtual and the real symbolizes the transformation of energy between life and death, further assisting individuals to complete a closed-loop perception of the pet funeral industry. A large number of simple blocks reinforce the linear composition of the space’s facade through their own structure.
▲宗教信仰寄存室，Religious storage room ©立明
The religious storage room has an overall solemn and tranquil quality, with pet info and urns in niches on either side, reflecting respect and reverence for life. The fan-shaped background at the front is illuminated by the soft foil ceiling above, with ambient lighting highlighting the spiritual qualities of the area.
▲夜幕下的彩虹星球，Rainbow Planet at Night ©立明
Design Team：NOTHING DESIGN