Our approach has been to evoke a space that can be found within a clearing of a forest. It is an interior space defined by tree-like wooden columns and structures that offer a similar visibility and light quality to an actual forest. Within this gathering can be found smaller enclosed structures for particular functions but above all the gathering is a flexible space designed to accommodate a range of events and celebrations of different scales. It will be a place for visitors to celebrate the lives of loved ones either privately or as part of a wider community and a space from which to experience the beauty of the forest, the sky and the distant horizon.
As yet we have not considered enclosing the building fully. Does it need walls to separate inside from outside? Perhaps not. Areas can be roofed to protect against rain and snow, lightweight fabric can protect against wind but these can be temporary – but why not let the sun and rain in? Likewise do we need a concrete slab and foundations? Could we not think of a compacted earthen floor that is contoured to drain away the rain and can grow to become the biodiverse forest floor.