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The Forgotten Million, Now Remembered

Being a large city, New York not only has a large impoverished population, but also frequently experiences waves of disease. In order to deal with the death toll, the city began to bury bodies on Hart Island, a small isle on Long Island Sound. Hart Island Ossuary offers a proposal for an open-air visitors center, memorial and observation tower allowing guests to get panoramic views of the massive grave site while also taking the millions of dead out of anonymity. 


 ACSA / AISC Steel Design Competition 


Hart Island, New York


Rhinoceros3D, Grasshopper (+Pufferfish), V-Ray, Photoshop, Illustrator


Open Category

(ACSA/AISC Competition)



Side View Render.jpg

fig. 1.  View of intervention from burial site

Hart Island Site Plan-01.jpg

The island sports a collection of dilapidated buildings and fields of enumerated posts, each representing 150 bodies. Until recently, the island was under the jurisdiction of Rikers Correctional Center, with inmates working to bury the dead. In 2019, the island was passed over to the parks department, to create a public and pleasant cemetery space for visitors and tourists alike. 

NYC Map-01.jpg

fig. 2.  Site and location plans

History Diagram labeled-01.jpg

fig. 3.  History of the island

Due to the unmarked graves and the few accessible roads on the island, grave visitors may not be able to reach their loved one’s resting place. Taking advantage of the ruins of the former Phoenix House, the ramping structure weaves below, through and above the crumbling brick façade, commemorating not only the dead but also the history of the island. 


fig. 4.  Components isometrics

Render from Below.jpg
Interior Render.jpg

fig. 5.  Perspective from approach

fig. 6.  Perspective from interior platforms

+3000 Plan-01.jpg
+20000 Plan-01.jpg

fig. 7.  Ground floor plan

fig. 8.  Roof plan

Render Side Floating.jpg
Lake view render.jpg

fig. 9.  Perspective from approach

fig. 10.  Perspective from interior platforms


fig. 11.  Perspective section


fig. 12.  East elevation

Atrium Render.jpg

fig. 13.  Perspective in atrium

Wall Exploded Axon.jpg

fig. 14.  Detail exploded axonometric

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