Let us assure you

Architecture can often find itself in service of a message: this institution is trustworthy or forward-thinking; that individual or company is powerful; here is a world you want to buy into. This topic looks at examples of the built environment as a kind of public relations strategy. In unpacking the ways that architecture—and, equally importantly, representations of it—lays claims and exerts influence, we might better understand the versions of reality that architecture proposes to us.

Article 16 of 16

The Architecture of Death

You made it.

Robert Burley, overview of Mountain View Cemetery on an overcast day, Oakland, CA, United-States, October 1991. Chromogenic colour print, 36.2 x 45.5 cm. PH1992:0168, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal. © CCA

Felice Beato, a cemetery in Kyoto, Japan, between 1863 and 1877. Albumen silver print, 17 x 22.1 cm. PH1981:0787:067, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal. © CCA

Mark Ruwedel, Cimetière de Notre-Dame-des-Neiges #5, Montréal, Canada, 1983. Gelatin silver print, 19.5 x 24.5 cm. PH1988:0251, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal. © Mark Ruwedel

Pietro Bracci, elevation and plan, possibly for the tomb of Benedict XIV, Rome, Italy, between 1759 and 1763. Pen and brown and black ink over traces of black chalk, with brown and red wash and white gouache on paper, 47.7 x 36 cm. DR1966:0001:017, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal.

First temporary Lenin Mausoleum designed by Alexey Shchusev, Red Square, Moscow, Russia, between January and March 1924. Unknown photographer. Gelatin silver print, 13.5 x 18.4 cm. PH1998:0001:012, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal.

H. C. Cammidge, photgrapher. View of the tomb of foreign officers who fell in action against the Taiping Rebels, including that of Fredrick Townsend Ward, Sungkiang (now Songjiang), Chekiang (now Zhejiang Sheng), China, 1867. PH1982:0363:038

The private burial grounds for the Biron family, designed by Carlo Scarpa. Guido Guidi, perimeter wall of Cimitero Biron and a cornfield, San Vito d’Altivole, Italy, 5 December 1996. PH1999:0399, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal. © Guido Guidi

Robert Bourdeau, photographer. Sarcophagus enclosed in tomb, County Mayo, Ireland, 1980. PH1983:0452

Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Grotteschi: The Tomb of Nero, 1760–1770. DR1993:0020

Unknown photographer. Erik Gunnar Asplund, architect. Interior view of Woodland Crematorium showing a furniture detail and skylight, Stockholm, after 1940. PH1988:0120

Erik Gunnar Asplund. Elevation of principal facade, Woodland Chapel, Stockholm, 1918–1921. DR1984:1645

Unknown photographer. Sigurd Lewerentz and Erik Gunnar Asplund, architects. Exterior view of Woodland Crematorium and Cemetery, Stockholm, after 1940. PH1988:0037

Aldo Rossi. Cimitero di San Cataldo, Modena, Italy: site plan, between 1971 and 1978. AP142.S1.D29.P5

Kenro Izu, photographer. Pyramids and Cemetery, Giza, February 1983. PH1984:0209

John Hejduk. Cemetery for the War Dead: perspective, between 1947 and 1950. DR1998:0018:003

Ilse Bing, photographer. View of trees and a brick building in the Neuer Jüdischer Friedhof, Frankfurt, Germany, 1932. PH2001:0236

Gordon Matta-Clark. Art Card: “Tonight August 3rd 1973 my only known cousin died in an incredible way…; [verso]: In LA time is space and a wheel to steer it by…,” between 1970 and 1978. PHCON2002:0016:001:038.3

This is only a selection of the material related to death in our collection.


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