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Rendering: Olson Kundig

Recompose | Seattle

Seattle, Washington

Recompose | Seattle

Seattle, Washington

  • Design Principal

    Alan Maskin

Recompose|Seattle will be the first facility in the world to provide a sustainable option for after-death care. Designed in collaboration with Katrina Spade, founder and CEO of the Recompose public benefit corporation, the new facility will offer a service called “natural organic reduction” which converts human remains into soil, helping nourish new life after death – a third alternative to traditional burials and cremations that uses one-eighth the energy of cremation and saves over one metric ton of carbon dioxide per person.

The 18,500-square-foot facility located in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood carefully orchestrates the Recompose process, which is centered around a natural organic reduction vessel that transforms human remains into organic, nutrient-rich soil. The core of the Recompose|Seattle space is a modular system containing approximately 75 of these vessels, stacked and arranged to demarcate space for rituals and other types of public gatherings. Radiating from this ceremonial disposition area are spaces for shrouding (the storage and preparation of bodies), administrative back-of-house areas, and an interpretive public lobby which describes the Recompose process.

Katrina Spade first began working with Alan Maskin in 2015. In 2016, the Recompose team completed a Creative Exchange Residency at Olson Kundig where Spade and her team of architects and engineers designed the first prototype of the Recompose vessel.

I’ve been fascinated with Katrina Spade’s alternative burial concept since she shared it with me years ago, and Olson Kundig is honored to work closely with her team on the design of the first Recompose facility in the world. Alan Maskin, Design Principal

Team

Publications

2019

Block, India. “Dezeen’s top 10 architecture trends of 2019.” Dezeen, 16 Dec. 2019. Web.

Chandler, Clay and Eamon Barrett. “Should Designers Adopt a Code of Ethics?” Fortune, 26 Nov. 2019. Web.

Cogley, Bridget. “Olson Kundig unveils Recompose Seattle facility for composting human bodies.” Dezeen, 20 Nov. 2019. Web.

Harrouk, Christele. “Olson Kundig Imagines a Center for Human Composting in Seattle.” ArchDaily, 25 Nov. 2019. Web.

Hitti, Natashah. “This week, Zaha Hadid Architects completed a skyscraper and unveiled plans for a train station.” Dezeen, 23 Nov. 2019. Web.

Keane, Katharine. “This Week in Tech: Olson Kundig’s Facility for Converting Human Remains into Soil.” ARCHITECT, 6 Dec. 2019. Web.

Kiley, Brendan. “Recompose, a composting alternative to burial and cremation, finds home in Sodo.” The Seattle Times, 19 Nov. 2019, A7, A9. Print.

Kiley, Brendan. “Recompose: Human-composting alternative to burial and cremation finds a home in Seattle.” The Detroit News Online, 16 Dec. 2019. Web.

Kiley, Brendan. “Recompose, the human-composting alternative to burial and cremation, finds home in Sodo.” The Seattle Times, 19 Nov. 2019. Web.

Marchese, Kieron. “Olson Kundig reveals recompose facility in seattle for composting human bodies.” Designboom, 23 Nov. 2019. Web.

Neuhauser, Alan. “Seattle Startup to Offer New Afterlife Option: Human Composting.” Cheddar, 6 Dec. 2019. Web.

Sheets, Megan. “Inside the world’s first funeral home dedicated to human composting: ‘Recompose’ is set to open in 2021, offering an eco-friendly alternative to cremation and burial by turning deceased loved ones into nearly one square meter of soil.” The Daily Mail, 9 Dec. 2019. Web.

Smith, Lilly. “The world’s first human composting facility will let us recycle ourselves.” Fast Company Online, 25 Nov. 2019. Web.

Socorro, Alba. “La primera instalación del mundo que convertirá restos HUMANOS en TIERRA.” Architectural Digest Spain, 25 Nov. 2019. Web.

Stone, Leilah. “Olson Kundig reveals world’s first human composting facility in Seattle.” The Architect’s Newspaper, 21 Nov. 2019. Web.

Wang, Lucy. “Olson Kundig designs world’s first Recompose facility for composting human remains.” Inhabitat, 3 Dec. 2019. Web.

Wood, Vincent. “World’s first human composting site to open.” The Independent, 9 Dec. 2019. Web.

Wood, Vincent. “World’s first human composting site to open.” Yahoo! News UK, 9 Dec. 2019. Web.

Zagaria, Elisa. “Recompose, Il Sistema Che Trasforma I Resti Umani In Terreno.” Elle Décor Italia, 19 Dec. 2019. Web.