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ELYSIUM - Euthanasia Retreat​​​​​​​
Death is inevitable and often left unspoken. Where we die is elemental to how we die and how we are remembered.
By Jessica Love
ELYSIUM, understood to be the ‘state of perfect happiness’, is a euthanasia retreat for eligible patients and their loved ones. An acronym for; Eternal Life Yielding Solace Into Unified Mindfulness. Providing people with the opportunity to find closure with death, by celebrating life through a profound nature connecting journey.
The conducted research revealed that there is no existing place dedicated to people partaking in an act of Euthanasia that specifically cater to making a death a positively memorable and joyous experience for the patient, along with assisting staff and loved ones. Present options like hospitals and hospices, are linked with stigma and impersonally assault our senses. Their aim is to prolong life and ultimately avoid death, stripping excitement from any experience, claiming to minimise confusion and make users feel physically comfortable.
...arrive and meet the team in the reception leaf...
...connecting to nature and onto space of 'earth'...
The retreat is impartial to all demographics and can be tailored to each experience with the assistance of digital projections. Similarly to an exhibition, users are indirectly prompted to move through seven nostalgic sensory triggering spaces. In connection with nature, metaphysical healing, the alchemy elements (fire, air, water and earth) and the dimensions of wellness (spiritual, social, emotional and physical), individuals and their companions pay homage to life. Gradually confronting the unknown, the interior architecture encourages users to; retract, pause, reflect and heal before concluding the life lived.
...take a moment to breathe before moving on to space of 'air'...
...inspired by Led Zepplins 'stairway to heaven'...
...entwine yourself amongst the sheers and projections...
...follow the path to space of 'fire'...
...unite around the warmth of a crackling fire and view further memories projected into the chimney...
...step back out into the open before on to space of 'water'...
...watch the sunset set over the hills before settling into the villa for the night...
Before nightfall occupants gather in a secluded villa. Complete with a Patient Suite and adjoining Family Accommodation capitalising on natures beauty along Turtons Creek. Providing an alternative environment for a planned death, ELYSIUM is a preferred end-of-life space for euthanasia participants, that pays homage to the circle of life. Creating a sweet simple parting image, to usher grief with warmth, allowing patients to die a dignified death.
...an exploded axonometric of the villa overlooking the Turtons Creek Waterfall...
...the patients suite on the upper level combines all elements and experiences from the journey taken to reach this point...
...the following day, loved ones reach the top of Turtons Creek Waterfall...
...where they say their farewells...