Award | AMoA Biennial 600: Architecture
MRA took second prize in the Amarillo Museum of Art's Biennial 600: Architecture for Yarauvi, a proposal for a floating necropolis in the Dead Sea. The project was in competition with more than 500 works submitted by architects and artists residing within a 600-mile radius of Amarillo, Texas. By focusing on architecture, this year's biennial sought works that challenged conventional interpretations of the subject.
Yarauvi is a place where any person—regardless of nationality, race, religion, age or affluence—can be laid to rest. By choosing this site as a final resting place, any citizen of the world can contribute to a growing monument to tolerance, reconciliation and unity.
Families will bid farewell to their loved ones from a dock at the southern banks of the Dead Sea. From there, the dead, accompanied by a few mourners, will be transported to Yarauvi by boat. The boat enters the necropolis at its base and travels through a ceremonial unicursal labyrinth that leads to the center point of the necropolis, where the dead are lifted to the space above. The accompanying mourners will also enter the necropolis this one time, during the interment of their loved ones.
The necropolis is a parabolic structure of concentric rings supported on a raft-like armature below the water line, which allows it to float in the buoyant salty waters of the Dead Sea. Inside, the necropolis is a bowl-shaped space open to the sky. Individual sarcophagi will progressively fill the stepped structure, laid out in a concentric configuration facing one another.