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Ardo Hiiuväin

  • Interior Architecture
  • MA
  • Location-based use of materials in burial culture - rammed earth columbarium of Vilsandi
  • Tutor: Jüri Kermik, Phd; Gregor Taul, MA
  • Video, panoramic photo
  • 841x4752mm (8 x A1)

It all started with my close ties to the island of Vilsandi. Having been an active member of the community for the last 15 years, I can leave myself with the title – a Vilsandi resident. As a result of interesting conversations, I was tasked with developing the island’s cemetery. The first bird in the process was the landmark student work “Pesa” (“Nest”) in the new columbarium area of the cemetery.

The inspiring and instructive journey from the beginning to the completion of the object created a desire to pursue the funeral and burial in more detail. In this sense, the master’s thesis has been a great self-education and shaping one’s own worldview. The aim of the master’s thesis is to offer a rammed earth columbarium to the people of Vilsandi, which would allow them to be buried and rest in the soil of their home island again.

In order to fulfill this goal, I get to know and analyze the burial customs and practices of Estonians. The main focus is on cremation and urn burials, their history and developments in Estonia. The introduction of columbarium as a typology is certainly an important part of the work, because, as the work shows, these are rather uncommon terms.

Materials and tests form an important part of the work. A prerequisite for a location-based approach in the context of Vilsandi is the environmental friendliness of the materials. The island of Vilsandi, a place that has been the birthplace of nature conservation in the Baltic Sea region, would be unethical to use industrially produced building materials as material. The latter is also the reason for my choices – ash and rammed earth.

The end result of the proposed solution of the rammed earth columbarium for the expansion of the existing cemetery in Vilsandi is environmentally friendly and has a minimalist design. Takes into account the nature and values that exist.

Video “Journey to the cemetery”