Aedificium Memoriarum: Building of Memories

Tom Soldiviero (website), Maria Benanti (website), Brendan Roche
The Catholic University of America
ARPL402 Comprehensive Building Design Studio
Faculty: Julie Ju-Youn Kim (website)


The Aedeficium Memoriarum is a multi-purpose building for Washington, D.C.’s Historic Congressional Cemetery which houses a gallery, café, lecture hall, observation tower, as well as conservation laboratories for the restoration of the site’s aging headstones in need of repair.

The project manipulates the notion of portal, allowing contained and framed views to assist in the grieving process. Upon entry, views towards the cemetery are blocked. This is intentional. As visitors move from room to room, balance between light and dark, compression and expansion, and sight and sound are in constant flux. An infinite circulation loop suggests an open-ended approach to experiencing these spaces, rather than a prescribed and fixed route.

Courtyards are framed with intention, yet open-ended for visitors to experience as they wish. This courtyard blocks views towards the cemetery, yet still has portals slightly above human eye height. The distance between contained and infinite views is inches away.


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