Form4 Architecture

Form4 Architecture

San Francisco, CA


Sanguine Lily: 1916 Centenary Chapel at Glasnevin Cemetery

The design of the 1916 Centenary Chapel at Glasnevin Cemetery takes the idea of a perfect moment and fashions it into a structure that pays homage to lost loved ones in the form of a chapel. The chapel aims to bring together a unifying whole in the greater Dublin community and act as a portal of lost loved ones, while being a symbol of indissoluble unity amongst the living. Situated next to the National Botanic Garden in Dublin, Ireland, this design seeks to build upon the rich symbolic repertoire of the nation by directly referencing to the petal of an Easter lily. Surrounded by three reflecting pools, the chapel appears from afar to be a petal floating on a puddle of water.

Historically, the Easter Rising in 1916 marked the inevitable rise of Ireland’s political independence. Against what was known to be superior military power and resources, the uprising lasted only 5 days, but was a momentous call for freedom. Following the uprising, 232 casualties were buried in a mass grave in the Glasnevin Cemetery. The insurgents had knowingly paid the ultimate sacrifice to rise against centuries of outsiders’ oppression and give voice to the fight.

The main focal point of the centenary chapel is the natural and artificial light surrounding the structure. Natural light streaming in from the north and south through the glass curtain walls enclosing the chapel, combined with 232 glass sphere lights suspended from the ceiling, allow for maximum brightness that will form a luminous crown visible in the nocturnal sky. With its altar positioned to the east, the chapel acts as a sundial to capture the seasonal variations of natural light. The continuous slot that bisects the roof and acts as a skylight creates a beautiful contrast to the shadows cast after sunrise. 

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Glasnevin, IE