ARCHITECTURE FOR LIVING WITH DYING AND DEATH: THE DESIGN OF A HOSPICE AND FUNERARY COMPLEX IN HALIFAX, NS
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Since 1900, Western culture has distanced itself from death and now depends on funeral homes to manage the care of the dead. Today, Western families have little interaction with the deceased in the interval between death and burial. This period, once filled with ritual and ceremony, is now a sales opportunity for the funeral home industry. By contrast, many non-Western cultures have maintained their funerary rituals, which often involve the deceased’s family and friends. These rituals appear to be consistent with the ethos of compassion found in hospices. Therefore, Western culture may benefit from other cultural perspectives on death rituals as an extension of care in Western hospices. It is hoped that the proposed hospice and funerary complex in Halifax, NS, Canada will provide the opportunity for authentic experiences with the dying and recently deceased and will deepen the meaning of this universal human experience for all.