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Wo Hop Shek Columbarium and Crematorium


Wo Hop Shek, Fanling

Project Description:

The project consists of a public Columbarium and Crematorium. The Columbarium houses around 43,000 niches and several Gardens of Remembrance for scattering of cremated ash. The Columbarium is designed as a park-like environment largely covered by greenery, so as to reduce the sense of fear in a traditional columbarium and gives the public a new image of buildings of this type. The niche block, provided with timber batten façade, brings a sense of warmth to the columbarium. Pleasant indoor environment and air quality in the niche block are achieved by the fully ventilated façade, and strategic locating of joss paper burner and incense burning troughs
away from the crowded areas which encourages low-smoke worshipping. Thematic and symbolic elements are introduced to the landscape and the Gardens of Remembrance, creating a peaceful environment to encourage the scattering of cremator ash. The Crematorium comprises 3 services halls and a cremation plant room. Informal architectural languages and natural materials are used to create a spiritual atmosphere for bereaved ftrooamilies to say goodbye to the deceased. The thoughtful circulation planning, peaceful service hall design, and integration of landscape in the crematorium, also serve the emotion needs of the bereaved families throughout the process of a funeral.

Description how the project contributes with humanity:

The demand for crematorium and columbarium has been high in Hong Kong. However, there has been a negative feeling among the general public towards this building type, and therefore resistance to accept such buildings nearby. Through innovative building and landscape design, the project has demonstrated how these facilities could be brought about as a park-like environment, and has successfully created a refreshed and comfortable image for crematorium and columbarium in the general public. Unlike the crematorium and columbarium in the past, which were designed mainly based on their functionality, the project had also taken care of the comfort and emotional experience of the bereaved families and descendants. In the crematorium, nature and daylight are introduced into the service halls to create a sense of calm to the bereaved families. Towards the end of a service, the coffin would gradually descent to the cremator plant room at a floor below, resembling the respectful way of Chinese earth burial. Natural materials are widely used in the project to create a sense of warmth. There are also gardens and courtyards with symbolic landscaping and water features in the project, where descendants and bereaved families could stay and feel calm before they leave.

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