Author: Anuj Kumbhar
Site Location: Varanasi
Institute: Vishwaniketan College of Architecture, Arts & Design
Advisor: Prof. Viji Nair
Varanasi, often called the spiritual capital of India, is a city known for its ancient rituals and traditions, particularly those associated with death and cremation. The existing facilities for accommodating visitors during these sensitive times are inadequate, leading to overcrowding, environmental concerns, and limited amenities. “The Last Pause” is an innovative solution that aims to transform the perception of Varanasi’s death rituals by providing a well-designed and inclusive space that caters to the diverse needs of its visitors. The primary objective of “The Last Pause” is to create a sustainable and respectful space that honours the traditions and beliefs of the people coming to Varanasi for death rituals. By establishing this intervention, we seek to provide a range of facilities and programs that will enable visitors to grieve, perform rituals, seek solace, and find a sense of community during their stay. Furthermore, by incorporating landscape irrigation and other sustainable features, the project aims to contribute positively to the city’s environment. “The Last Pause” envisions a transformative architectural intervention that redefines Varanasi’s social spaces and rituals surrounding death. By providing a comprehensive and respectful environment, this project aims to create a harmonious experience for visitors while upholding the city’s cultural heritage. Through collaboration between NGOs and the government, this aims to foster a deeper sense of community and understanding in one of India’s most spiritually significant cities.
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