Design Development Team: Dr Cristian Suau + Laura Petruskeviciute [Studio Pop] Davide Rizzo [Davide Rizzo Architects], Amagoia Extebarria
CATHCART GRAVEYARD PARK
Purpose of the project
The purpose of the project is to promote and enhance the visitor experience of Cathcart Cemetery as well as to improve its accessibility and to engage the local community with learning and discovery activities. Cathcart Cemetery is essentially a urban park with a strong historical and natural heritage. Our proposal aims at better interpret and explain its significance in the urban context and to encourage people in learning and interact with the heritage. The strategic use of low-cost and maintenance free movable units will resolve service and accessibility issues giving the park a new identity with billboard, info points, cafe, gathering and exhibition areas. Remaking the City is the core inspiration and research-agenda of Studio Pop. We see the Cathcart Cemetery project as an opportunity to develop and test a creative strategies and a model for the reactivation of urban areas and the engagement of the local communities.
Both walk and bike guided tours will be provided in order to explore and learn about the cultural, historical and natural heritage of the cemetery. A café kiosk and a covered hall will be the main info point where also temporary exhibition shall be organised. A website and social media groups will be also developed to engage people and encourage interaction with the cemetery history and activity.
A. The memory station: It will be formed by stacking a 40” container on 2 x 10” containers which will enclose a covered paved area. It will act as a billboard and a modern lodge gate at the main entrance of the park. It will accommodate a café, the bike-cart storage and the exhibition spaces. It will also mark the guided tour starting point.
B. The beacons: They will be tall elements inspired by the artwork of Richard Serra and Jorge Oteiza to reference the headstones of the cemetery and the ancient standing stones. They identify the entrance gates giving visibility to the cemetery and will act as strategic solutions to visually link the cemetery with areas of historical and natural importance in the area. Furthermore, disabled access ramp, engraved map/info and a 24/7 safe call point will be integral to the beacons. Folded Corten steel has been proposed for the beacons as a maintenance free and anti vandalised material. We envisaged the testing of a simplified version of the beacon at Netherlee gate on phase 1.
Both beacons and the memory station are intended to be perceived like installations that populate the park and act as landmarks and info-points. All the installations will be temporary, portable low-cost solutions that could be relocated or removed.
Engage people and collect citizen data
People will be engaged with periodic exhibition, regular guided tours and interaction with social media. In phase I we will develop the audience for dedicated Facebook and Instagram groups where people will be encouraged in sharing and tag images of the gravestones, flora and fauna, landscaping and panoramic viewpoints; in this way providing sensible information on the cemetery heritage and the areas of visitors’ major interest.
We also envisage a digital community where the individual users will be encouraged in researching and sharing information on the gravestones. The data will be used for mapping the cemetery heritage, also to create gravestone inventory and to assist in identify the area at risk. Users route and point of interest will be also identified. A park user code of conduct will be subscribed. The principle of the code will be defined by the community with a consultation process.