Laminated Boundaries

Material thoughts initiate the work. Like a tree in Riga’s Forest, a new addition quietly occupies the existing clearing of the site. Analogous to the multi-layers found in wood, a “laminated” boundary gravitates to the edge of the sloping ground borrowing this change in elevation to define its own spaces. The boundary bends and splits forming gaps for inhabitation and varying degrees of enclosures. Its two-sided posture creates a world within itself while empathetic to its surroundings. Walls bend to frame and include the landscape and its elements. Exposed to the elements over the course of time, the laminated boundary became ossified.

The visitor is greeted by the line upon arriving in the clearing and consequently, an entry sequence is initiated through accumulated layers of thickness. These deep conceptual laminations are cut to reveal spaces of inhabitation such as seating for awaiting the arrival of others. Strips of lighting reside between the layers and views are captured by the slits within the walls. Ashes of loved ones are embedded in the grains of these walls and forever held by a layer of infill surface composed of stacks of thin steel strips. These protecting shields to the urns emit a glimpse of shimmer in the bright light of the sun or under a full moon.

* This project has been honorably mentioned in the  ‘Columbarium – The Chamber of Memories’ competition held by Riga City Council with the Bee Breeders ( 

copyright reserved Josh Ren 2022