Amalgamating with Buddhism – The Mandai Crematorium

Buddhism though just like all the other religions is highly practiced across the globe, it has a relatively different concept with a higher understanding and deep meaning that people can’t understand. As a result, many Buddhist centers have been established across the world to preach the significance of Buddhism among people. Out of many such centers is the Mandai Columbarium that is located in the Mandai area of the much busy and exotic Singapore.If you’re planning a trip to Singapore, make sure that you pay a visit to this center as it has got a unique air around it that gives you a soothing. Designed by the famous CPG’s Studio, the spatial setting is focused on the elements of dignity, spirituality for performing somber death rituals of remembering people. The complex was constructed in 2008 and ever since it has been maintaining the same level of tranquility. The landscape is one of the reasons why the atmosphere around it stays so pleasant including the lush greenery, the lighted interior, the reflecting pools and the warm textures.001_hqdefault

Talking about the architecture of the building, the design of the complex represents the exploration of Buddhism and representation of Nirvana. The complex is situated on the higher grounds and is made of monolithic walls. The structure is what makes the building a metaphor of the death and the dead with multiple chambers arranged in series accommodating smaller groups in each space. The scaled down setting provides an intimate feeling towards the death with the right amount of light and air being directed into them giving the paradigms of the world along with the death. The crematorium (Complex for the dead) on the other end which is a subcomplex to the main complex is located in the valley facing the entrance of the prior complex. It consists of four different halls that can be served as service spaces with a distinctive roof and a roofscape. The towers surround the complex highlighting the central ritual area where ceremonies are held for the dead. The phrase ‘Between Earth and the Heaven’ is used to describe this place as the interiors are designed pointing towards the sky accentuating the longitudinal lines and the vertical dimensions. The skylights are arranged in a way that they fill the halls with light but not overflood them.1f

After the service rooms lie the viewing halls where the families can witness the dead’s coffin for one last time and share moments with them before it is placed before the cremators. This is a kind of semi-funeral thing where you send the farewell in private. After this, the coffin is set in the final scene where our loved ones are believed to be sent to the celestial heaven according to the Buddhists, and therefore, the space that has been designed is particular about embedding the spatial metaphors. Functionally speaking of the whole complex with the two different blocks, their orientation, the functionality, the transition between the blocks, the movement of the visitors; the building is an en route to the heaven itself as it calms your mind and keeps you at peace as long as you stay in it. The circulation of the whole complex is one way, and one can’t return to the same path again or end up being in loops despite its chaotic layout. The interiors are ornamented, spaced out to reflect the moods and emotions of the bereaved keeping conceptualization of “Remembering the dead” in more than one explicit ways throughout the process of cremation. Therefore, if you’re looking to conduct a service for your beloved ones, this is the best place you can go to.

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