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Revealed: finalists in contest to design modern mausoleum

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DSDHA, Ordinary Architecture and Tonkin Liu have been named as finalists in Bompas and Parr’s competition to design a contemporary mausoleum

Intended to reignite interest in funerary architecture, the Monumental Masonry competition was run in collaboration with the John Soane Museum, called for designs for ‘epic monuments in a magnificent celebration of death’.

The ten shortlisted practices saw off competition from 120 entries from international architects and designers.

The entries included traditional classicist mausolea, brutalist vertical cemeteries, contemplative spaces, Lego monoliths, a giant tennis ball and a huge sock.

Bompas and Parr said they had also received two inverted pyramids, a neon sculpture, memorials dedicated to Kanye West and Kim Kardashian and several entries designed to degrade over time.

Bompas and Parr shortlisted an initial 24 designs and these were whittled down to a final top ten by the judges which included Highgate Cemetary’s stonemason Neil Luxton, architect Sam Jacob, director of Sir John Soane’s Museum Abraham Thomas, and Maggie’s chief executive Laura Lee.

The ten finalists’ models will go on display at the John Soane Museum from 6 December until 3 January as part of an exhibition heralded as a ‘magnificent celebration of death’.

At a launch event on 5 December, the models will also be auctioned, with proceeds split between the museum and Maggie’s.

The winning scheme, which is yet to be revealed, will be made by a traditional masonry company and displayed at a cemetery.


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