Sarcophagus

2016
 
 
 
This speculative project explores a peculiar architectural monument located in Tirana, Albania.  This pyramid, built during the communist rule of Enver Hoxha, remains to this day a bittersweet reminder of hostile times during his rule.  While many concepts to renovate, demolish, and replace this artifact have been made, the citizens of Tirana hold this monument sacred to their country's history.  This project seeks to produce a vague monument through an examination of drapery, bigness, and the sarcophagus.
​The egyptian sarcophagus provides an excellent precedent to explore the sectional character of a sarcophagus and was my point of departure for consideration of the design of a sarcophagus for the Pyramid in Tirana. The tomb of King tutankamen is a peculiar example.  Comprised of 9 layers of tombs, each a reduction of resolution of the previous, a transformation occurs from human form to primitive shape.  In architectural language, the each layer can be considered on offset of a curve with continuous reduction in fidelity.  
 
The famous pyramids of Giza represent an extreme example.  Generally accepted as big, the pyramidal shape is in fact the last layer of the sarcophagus, a the result of a transformation of human form to primitive shape.  This transformation is from a 2m figure to a 139m pyramid.  Each of these examples is considered big, but for different reasons.  The former, through extravagant layering stone and solid gold sarcophagi while the latter expresses bigness in perceptual mass.
 
 
With this is mind, my approach to the sarcophagus leveraged bigness which is not expressed through perceptible size but rather through the understanding of the unseen for the sarcophagus is not simply a shell but rather a manifold surface tucked into itself.  This poche is only revealed upon close inspection of the rear of the pyramid where these layers spill out the back side.
 
The strange and eerie presence of the sarcophagus transcends any familiar figuration, yet its decaying and dirty surface riddled with politically charged graffiti contextualizes it within as a political object in the history of Albania not all unlike the remnants of looted Egyptian tombs.
Pyramid Model 1:300
Composite Image: Photograph + Model
CNC Reproduction Drawings
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