2021 GFD 🏆 Awards

Third Award | Pure White – Cemetery in Haimen | Zhejiang Qingmo Engineering Survey & Design Co., Ltd

The design tries to bring people a new experience by introducing traditional Chinese courtyard order into the solid white medium, run the eternal and changing time through experience from the beginning to the end, leaving only the outline of the buildings among light and shadows and lead the negative feelings to fade out among the water and tree shadows- creating quietness and peace and happiness and comfort, visually and spiritually.

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🏆 Third Award
Global Future Design Awards 2021

Pure White – Cemetery in Haimen
Cultural Architecture Concept

Zhejiang Qingmo Engineering Survey & Design Co., Ltd

Yu Gang

Design Team
Yu Gang, Xu liang, He Chenhao, Shi Baopeng, Lin jin, Xu Lingxin, Liu Yu

Linjiang Town, Haimen City, Jiangsu Province, China



During the process of urbanization in China, the planning and design of country lands are influenced by both of population rise and development policies. The cemetery, situated in Linhai County, Haimen, Jiangsu Province, is a columbarium building initiated by local government. It needs to accommodate enough cremation urns for the local population and provide a quiet place for people to remember the deceased. It breaks the inherent dark impression of columbarium. Instead it’s sunny, open and quiet.

Chinese traditional cemetery always pays special attention to Fengshui. Considering the river on the east side and the encircling shape of the tombs, the building forms a U shape facing the east, which is consistent with the principle of “facing water and sitting against the back” in Fengshui.

The plot is divided into 6 similar “boxes” and the public reception area by the east entry. The 6 boxes connected by corridor are used to place the cremation urns. It symbolizes “double six”, hoping to bring people comfort with traditional blessings.

The façade facing the center courtyard of every box is translucent, leaving only a clean picture of white building and courtyard, avoiding to make people feel uncomfortable by seeing arrays of cremation urns inside.

The inside of the boxes follows the principle of “facing the south and sitting against the north, facing the courtyard and sitting against the back”-the semi-open U-shape niche of the courtyard opening is facing the south. The courtyard uses full height glass to get in more sunshine to get rid of the depressed atmosphere. Every box integrates the surrounding spare spaces to create a “recalling courtyard” to provide a place for privacy and relaxing.

Besides these functional boxes, a meditation water garden sits in the public reception area by the entry to bear people’s grief. The center courtyard doesn’t have a complex structure. Instead, it adopts an open entry with pine trees, cypress and stone sculptures that drive away the evil to guide the traffic and create a solemn and serious atmosphere. The plants, the vigor of water source and the beautiful scenery in the courtyard can reduce the downside atmosphere brought by death and give the living ones spiritual comfort.

The project is a low cost trial of modern cemetery in the frame of Chinese tradition on a small site with the hope of solving the awkward situation of cemetery in an aging society, setting an example of this type of architecture and leading the local minds to leaping forward in a modern innovative way.

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