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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Cemetery
  4. Spain
  5. Enric Miralles
  6. 1994
  7. AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles

AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles

AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles
AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles

AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles © Flickr User: Dharmesh © Flickr User: Dharmesh AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles +14

  • Location

    Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
  • Architect

    Enric Miralles
  • References

    archinform.net
  • Project Year

    1994
  • Photographs

From the architect. As part of a competition to replace an older cemetery, Enric Miralles and Carme Pinos envisioned a new type of cemetery that began to consider those that were laid to rest, as well as the families that still remained.  After 10 years of construction, the Igualada Cemetery, outside of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, was completed in 1994 as a place of reflection and memories.

The Igualada Cemetery is a project that challenges the traditional notions of what makes a cemetery.  Miralles and Pinos conceptualized the poetic ideas of a cemetery for the visitors to begin to understand and accept the cycle of life as a link between the past, present, and future. 

It’s understood by the architects to be a “city of the dead” where the dead and the living are brought closer together in spirit.  As much as the Igualada Cemetery is a place for those to be laid to rest, it is a place for those to come and reflect in the solitude and serenity of the Catalonian landscape.

© Flickr User: Dharmesh
© Flickr User: Dharmesh

Embedded in the Catalonian hills, the Igualada Cemetery is an earthwork that blends into the landscape as if it were a natural aspect of the land. The cemetery was designed as a tiered landscape that unfolds into the landscape as one continuous and fluid progression.

© Flickr User: Dharmesh
© Flickr User: Dharmesh

The main burial area is part of a lowered excavated part of the cemetery that is surrounded by gabion walls and the mausoleum-like burial plots, which obstructs the visitor’s vision from the surrounding context secluding them in an area where the sky is the only visible entity outside of the central burial area.  Unlike the first tier, the second tier of the cemetery has more traditional burial plots that are separated and spread out rather than the mausoleum-like burial plots below. 

© Flickr User: Dharmesh
© Flickr User: Dharmesh

Also, on the second level, there is a chapel and monastery that remain unfinished; however, the unfinished aspects are not lacking, by any means, spatially rather they are void of definition and detail.  Yet, the lack of information and detailing compliments the overall sensations of the project where the spaces are open and void to retain the experiences of solitude and serenity.

As one enters the site, one confronts a set of cor-ten steel poles that double as gates to the cemetery – the poles are likened to the crosses at Calvary.  From the main entrance, there is a processional winding pathway that descends into the main burial area; the pathway is lined with concrete “loculi” - mausoleum burial plots – that wrap around the depressed space as a transition from tier to tier.  

The windy path is conceptualized as the river of life that moves from a wide open expanse in the Catalonian hills to a secluded memorial space excavated below the horizon.  The circulation through the cemetery adheres to a more processional effect that focuses less on the organization of the burial plots, but rather the experience.

The materials of the Igualada cemetery tie the project seamlessly back into the landscape.  Miralles employed earthy materials of concrete, stone, and wood into the project.  The gabion walls, the worn/aged concrete, and the wooden railroad ties embedded in the stone groundscape evoke the hard and rough landscape of the surrounding hills.  The earthy tones of the materials transform the architecture into a natural aesthetic creating the appearance that cemetery has long been part of the site.

© Flickr User: Dharmesh
© Flickr User: Dharmesh

The Igualada Cemetery is in a sense an organic architecture that integrates into the natural landscape as an extension of the Catalonian hills.  It is just as much a part of the landscape as the people that visit it. Even Miralles after his sudden death in 2000 is buried at the Igualada Cemetery, which in a sense completes the cycle of Miralles life: past, present, and future all clinging onto the Igualada Cemetery.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: Andrew Kroll. "AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles " 13 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/103839/ad-classics-igualada-cemetery-enric-miralles/>
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31 Comments

German · April 16, 2015

great project - would have been great too look at plans and sections of the place

BDES1010 · March 26, 2012

Igualada Cemetery by Enric Miralles & Carme Pinos http://t.co/gqFndo9e

Susie Clapham · March 24, 2012

@hari_BPA Yes! we went to see the most stunning Morales cemetery http://t.co/a9KV8CTC http://t.co/23aSgKVX

IN STUDIO arq. · January 27, 2012

AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles & Carme Pinos http://t.co/z1tLGlQD

Adorian C · June 03, 2011

Definitivamente Enric Miralles será siempre uno de mis arquitectos favoritos! #cosasqueamo http://t.co/cF6eyCO

oscar aramendi · January 18, 2011

AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles & Carme Pinos | ArchDaily http://t.co/7FJ7Oyx via @archdaily

koji_takahashi · January 17, 2011

AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles & Carme Pinos | ArchDaily http://t.co/nrBHNyR via @archdaily

Rajan Reddy · January 16, 2011

Morbid 4 Sunday but good pics with txt RT @ArchDaily AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles http://archdai.ly/i8qE9M #architecture

pilotist · January 15, 2011

AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles & Carme Pinos | ArchDaily http://t.co/SGwmSIy via @archdaily ?? ???? ????? ??

Papo de Arquiteto · January 15, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles http://archdai.ly/i8qE9M #architecture

Siham Jamaa · January 15, 2011

To renew Igualada Cemetery, architects create new way for visitors to accept the cycle of life http://bit.ly/h7jz3g

David Potes · January 15, 2011

RT @WAO_MX: Check out this amazing project by the late, Enric Miralles. I&#39ve been there it is amazing. http://bit.ly/huhmdj

WAO · January 15, 2011

Check out this amazing project by the late, Enric Miralles. I&#39ve been there it is amazing. http://bit.ly/huhmdj

Pleatfarm · January 14, 2011

RT @ArchDaily Igualada Cemetery by Enric Miralles is still a beautiful project http://archdai.ly/i8qE9M #architecture

Travel Writer · January 14, 2011

RT| AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles: © Andrew KrollAs part of a competition to replac... http://bit.ly/fcIpwI @archdaily

spasm · January 14, 2011

this project makes for readings at many levels , absolutely heart wrenching in its content.....

daqb design · January 14, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles http://archdai.ly/i8qE9M #architecture

munter roe · January 14, 2011

I can imagine how slippy those timber sleepers become when wet.

Certainly a lot of the scottish parliament taking its roots from this project.

Arquitectura ES · January 14, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles http://archdai.ly/i8qE9M #architecture

James Reid · January 14, 2011

Nice to see ArchDaily consider this as one of the classics, it never seems to be mentioned anywhere near enough in the must-do 'pilgrimage' sites that come up in books or conversations with people . .

Rodolfo Sauma · January 14, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles http://archdai.ly/i8qE9M #architecture

GR2TF · January 14, 2011

AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles: © Andrew KrollAs part of a competition to replace an older ceme... http://bit.ly/eq7Q88

ArchitecturePassion · January 14, 2011

AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles: © Andrew KrollAs part of a competition to replace an olde... http://tinyurl.com/4s7xpt3

Corporate Punk · January 14, 2011

AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles: © Andrew KrollAs part of a competition to replace an older ceme... http://bit.ly/grOkdZ

Nicolás Reyes · January 14, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles http://archdai.ly/i8qE9M #architecture

arch_related · January 14, 2011

AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles: © Andrew KrollAs part of a competition to replace an older ceme... http://bit.ly/eq7Q88

Erik Joya · January 14, 2011

AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles: © Andrew Kroll As part of a competition to… http://goo.gl/fb/7DwGz

DEZIGN · January 14, 2011

AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles: © Andrew KrollAs part of a competition to replace an older ceme... http://bit.ly/eq7Q88

Bocetos Digitales · January 14, 2011

AD Classics: Igualada Cemetery / Enric Miralles: © Andrew KrollAs part of a competition to replace an older ceme... http://bit.ly/i3faE0

Ashriver · January 14, 2011

Love it

Mert · January 14, 2011

This project was designed in partnership with Carme Pinos.

···

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