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Death By Design

ArchitectureAU has a "long read" article about cemeteries and crematoriums. "The funerary landscapes of Australia were shaped by nineteenth-century ideas transplanted from London, with little innovation in the intervening years. As traditional cemeteries near capacity and the environmental consequences of cremation become apparent, Australia’s funerary industry is in need of more considered solutions for our final resting place."

The article explores the influences on the design of cemeteries and, particularly the U.K., and the emergence of crematoriums and how those influences dominated Australian cemetery design,

It also reminds us that the idea of "Green Burial" also goes back a long way:

In 1875, the artist and surgeon Sir Francis Seymour Haden published Earth to Earth: A Plea for a Change of System in Our Burial of the Dead. Haden argued for the inherent benefits of natural burial as a rejoinder to Thompson’s burgeoning pro-cremation movement. Cremation only appeared necessary, wrote Haden, because burial practice had deviated so far from common sense. We were meant to be returned to the ground, Haden reasoned, and, if allowed to properly decompose, all London’s present and future dead could be accommodated in just two thousand acres of land.

Haden’s vision was left unrealized. The privatization, commercialization and industrialization of the funerary industry in the decades leading up to his writing had decisively altered the landscape of death. Unlike the garden cemetery, with its grandiose private tombs and crypts,

The development of the English funerary industry coincided with Australian colonization. But rather than rethink the cemetery paradigm to suit the Antipodes, English settlers simply transplanted the successive archetypes of the Victorian age. Traditional burial grounds installed
at Sydney’s George Street and Brickfield Hill at the turn of the eighteenth century proved inadequate and chaotic, and both were quickly abandoned. A metropolitan-scale necropolis in the picturesque style of Kensal Green was established at Rookwood in 1867, with avenues of imported trees and shrubs replacing native vegetation. Australia’s first crematorium was built
in Adelaide in 1903, and Rookwood’s first cremation took place in 1925.

It's a good read if you like this sort of thing...

Full Article at ArchitectureAU

 

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