Thresholds: End of Life and Architecture

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Tech

The ultimate threshold state of a human life is the time preceding death. Hospice care provides a gateway environment for many people for their transition to the other side.

Societies throughout history have had rituals and traditions to support the dying and their loved ones, but for modern society, few of these rituals remain. Death has become a topic to avoid "no one wants to look at it or speak about it. This taboo treatment of death often results in the isolation of people at the end of their lives. It also has a major impact on those who are losing their loved ones, as well as the caregivers that deal with death on a daily basis.

Through the lens of hospice, this thesis will explore spaces of transition in architecture - the idea of thresholds, both physical and emotional. It seeks to develop a design that considers all of its users and their experience of death and dying.

hospice, threshold, separation, connection, door