Author : Sebastian Tiew

University : Architectural Association, School of Architecture

Status : BArch, 2014

Advisors : Mark Campbell and Stewart Dodd

Title : Memento Mori | The remains of Grossinger’s Catskill Resort

Amongst many of the long forgotten Jewish Resorts of the Borscht Belt in upstate New York, Grossinger’s Catskill Resort provided Jewish New Yorkers with glitz and glamour from the early 20’s until its deterioration and closure in the 80’s.

While most of the other resorts have been put forward to demolition, over ambitious proposals for Grossinger’s have only been silenced by the site’s inability to correspond to the expected profits of such developments within the current context.

Since demolition seems to be remaining viable solution to such sites, the project takes upon the idea of embracing the only feasibility – [ demolition ] – and suggests an Event that celebrates and accepts the necessity of this action.

The process of demolition aims at utilizing a rigorously [ controlled ] system of the production line, where machines attempt to demolish the materiality of the buildings whilst retaining its structure.

Through this event, the projects aims to detach emotion and temporality, by offering a forever lasting memory, yet not a corpse, of what used to be one of the most glorious Resorts of its time.


S//A : What’s the most important aspect of this project that we should be aware of?
Sebastian Tiew_ The notions of Temporality and Change in Architecture.

S//A : What other fields outside of architecture interest you?
ST_ Photography and Cinema.

S//A : Most important thing you learned in architecture school?
ST_ To decide firmly upon an idea, to take full ownership of your project and to maintain a coherence within the portfolio.

S//A : Describe your dream project
ST_ A project that allows me to design in regard to context + history + time.