Green Burial Site Competition

Background and Brief

The competition called for proposals for a non-denominational gathering space on the site of an existing agricultural building, in the heart of the Warwickshire countryside.


The proposal encompassed a desire to retain the setting and scale of the existing building, with the evocation of a new sense of light and energy. The idea was to ‘re-skin’ the existing frame, stripping away its brown industrial exterior and re-dressing it in a crystalline skin. The building takes on the familiarity of greenhouse, reflecting the notion of germinating new things. We wanted to recycle found structures in the barn, and in particular utilize the straw bales in such a way that they would create spaces. The repositioning of these would create the ‘gathering space’, which draws its centre stage presence from Edvard Munch’s painting ‘The Dance of Life’. The earthy terracotta coloured render is central to the composition, in the same manner that the red dressed woman is to Munch’s painting. We believe that this ‘Wabi Sabi’ inspired approach can make a dignified yet cost-effective setting, rooted in the existing ambience and reality of the place.

Out of over 100 entries, our scheme was long-listed to the final 50.          

The site

The site and barn viewed from the approach road

Project plan

Plan of proposal

View from hill

View from the hill

Materials and precedents

Section through gathering space

View from entry drop-off


Section A-A

‘The Dance of Life’ - Edvard Munch

Interior view of the existing barn

Containers within the existing barn re-used in our proposal

Silos from inside the barn to be repurposed as service pods and offices

Green Burial Site Competition

Client /

RIBA Competition

Project /

Green Burial Site Competition, Alne Wood Park, Warwickshire          

Date /

Nov 2012 - Jan 2013

Budget /


Further Info /

/ 2c Kings Grove, Peckham, London SE 15 2NB / T 0207 771 1600 / E