Death and the Sublime Landscape
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This thesis explores the sublime experience through architectural and landscape design. Narrations concerning time, nature, life and death are conveyed through the medium of architectural promenade. Do these experiences have the power to lift individuals from the everyday into the transcendental and memorial? Mount Washington sits atop Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, overseeing the flows of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers. Its physical form and presence has been evolving over the last 300 million years, a timescale beyond typical human constructs. Today, its topography enables sweeping views across the city and the river valley beyond. The temporal and physical scale of Mount Washington renders it a sublime object, worthy of contemplation. The thesis seeks to engage natural and man-made features of Mount Washington throughout the site. Throughout history, cemeteries and other landscapes of the dead have been extraordinary subjects of sublime experiences. The thesis abstracts elements of cemeteries and reassembles a choreographed promenade. Using the language of path and place, this promenade seeks to accommodate and respect rituals of cremation and the accommodation of the dead in the landscape.