Inside

Master Interior Architecture

Heejung Kim – Graduation project 15/16

THE FINAL SPACE TO STAY

Have you ever imagined a space where you would like to be in the final moments of your life? What would you like to see and feel before you close your eyes forever? And how do you picture your final place? Without a doubt, the final moment of life is not very pleasant to think about, but if we do not actively engage ourselves with the idea of death, we will probably end our life in an undefined space. Although people’s expectations and wishes regarding death differ from each other, my intention is to design an “ideal” space that bridges the reality and ideality of the last moments of people’s lives. Herewith I hope to contribute to a sensitive and meaningful journey towards death.

For my research I first recalled my grandfather’s death and reflected upon that sad moment. I also visited some hospices and talked to nurses and other caretakers. On the basis of literature I determined two ways of dying: natural death and voluntary death through euthanasia. In the case of ‘natural dying’, the stability of a patient’s physical condition at the dying moment will be the main focus. For ‘euthanasia’ I concentrated primarily on the psychological stage, as euthanasia usually entails a conscious awareness in which people clearly experience their visual surroundings. I also found out that there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. In my proposal I translated these stages in a spatial way. The final journey of life starts from the ‘Entrance’ where the first step of acceptance starts by facing death. The next space will be the ‘Hall’ where one is encouraged to acknowledge death. Then the ‘Corridor’ will follow which leads a person from the hall to the final room. This is the space to walk through memories and experience a personal moment to gradually accept death. The ‘Final room’ is the most intimate and embracing space. Here a dying person will finally accept death.

All images @INSIDE & Heejung Kim

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