Arboretum Morti: Tracing the myth of Persephone in modern Eleusis
'How can spatial devices be used as means of storytelling?'
The question of whether a storyline could be translated into
a narrative sequence of spatial events developed the thesis of a 'psycho-plastic' expression of the myth of
Persephone, one of the oldest Greek
myths. The philosophical core of the story reflects on the universal concepts
of life, death and rebirth and the archetypal themes of duality, transition,
metamorphosis and the circle of life.
The site of Eleusis (West Attica, Greece) was chosen due to its strong bonds to the myth and its unique genius loci, comprised by an amalgamation of historical layers and exceptional juxtapositions.
Tracing the symbolic links within the site, a memorial is proposed under the acropolis hill, creating a conceptual 'thread' that connects the archaeological site with the industrial zone. The memorial serves multi-layered purposes; it reflects the storyline, leads to a natural burial site and can be used as a space for ceremonial rituals, retreat , mourning and healing.
The Arboretum Morti is an eco-friendly 'memory garden', an
unconventional necropolis; bodies are buried in capsules*, on top of which a
seed is planted to grow into a tree. This contemporary interpretation of the
morals of the myth celebrates the idea of coming 'full circle', treating death
not as the end but as the beginning of a new life.
The project wishes to encourage a deeper connection between the Man and the Earth and also to cultivate a spiritual and historical awareness at a time of socio-economical hardship for Greece.
*A product with these specifications has been promoted in Italy by the designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel under the name Capsula Mundi.
School of Architecture
MA Interior Design, 2015
+44 (0)7873 294443
- BA (Hons) Architecture, University of Kent, 2012
- Architectural assistant, Kemp Muir Wealleans and Stefan Zins Associates, London 2012–13
- London Festival of Architecture, Balfron Tower, London 2014; Work in Progress Show, Royal College of Art, London 2013–14 ; International Baccalaureate Fine Art Showcase, National Planetarium, Athens, 2009