Farewell Chapel / OFIS Arhitekti

Architect: OFIS arhitekti
Location: Krasnja, Slovenia
Competition Year: 2005
Construction Year: 2008-2009
Design Team: Rok Oman, Spela Videcnik, Andrej Gregoric, Janez martincic, Magdalena Lacka, Katja Aljaz, Martina Lipicer
Constructed Area: 135 sqm (70 sqm of inner space & 65 sqm of external space)
Photographs: Tomaz Gregoric

A farewell chapel is located in a village close to Ljubljana.

The site plot is next to the existing cemetery. The chapel is cut into the rising landscape.

The shape is following the lines of the landscape trajectories around the graveyard.

level 00 plan

Three curved walls are embracing and dividing the programs.

External curve is dividing the surrounding hill from chapel plateau and also reinstates main supporting wall.
Services such as storages, wardrobe restrooms and kitchenette are on the inner side along the wall.
Internal curve is embracing main farewell space. It is partly glazed and it is opening towards outside plateau for summer gatherings.

Roof is following its own curvature and forming external porch.

Catholic sign is featured as laying cross positioned on the rooftop above the main farewell space.

It also functions as luminous dynamic element across the space during the daytime and lighting spark in night time.

Materials are polished , larch wood, glass.

Cite: "Farewell Chapel / OFIS Arhitekti" 17 Jun 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 Jul 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=25453>

43 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This is incredibly simplistic, in a good way! I think it would be great if the cross was tilted to face towards the other buildings, so it would glow to them at night. Very strong piece. although it would have been nice to see some planned furniture inside.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Nothing spiritual about a ceiling opening resembling a cross. A limited experience with a very denominational symbol and a lack of space planning

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Strong and impressive. Smart position of the catholic sign: hidden and incorporated element into the landscape surface. Adds sacral feeling inside from above.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    i like the way they used materials: concrete, wood, glass, grass and gravel. they bring a feeling of warmness…warmness from the love of God.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This is an extremely interesting project. The organic shapes and use of vertical birch recall Aalto. They are also genuinely organic as opposed to the digitally skewed polygons that so often pass for natural shapes these days.

    The siting seems particularly successful and intelligent. Sitting below the crest of a hill in a very simple devotional chapel must be an ennobling experience.

    The program is clear and coherent and the architects have been consistent in their use of the perimeter wall. It is good that they restrained the urge to decorate or furnish the hall. As it is the space is dedicated to rite and to the departed.

    I do have an argument with the crucifix. The horizontal placement and the scale feel very wrong for such a building that clearly strives for humility. The geometry seems very jarring and in your face for what is otherwise such a beautiful space. My feeling is that an elegant crucifix hanging on the wall, or even standin,g would have been much more for the space and its mission.

    Terry Glenn Phipps

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Terry Glenn Phipps, you seem to be reading my mind !!!
    I absolutely love the space created in this chapel, and the way the horizontal concrete slab fusions with the vertical curving wall in breath taking. But as Terry said, I think the cross lets it down a bit, it is to literal and in no way fits the fantastically subtle experience of the rest of the building. Its presence is way to strong, and the symbol of the bright light flowing in vertically is just TOO obvious. In that sense, maybe a simplified or abstracted cross (like Tadao Ando’s little chapel by the lake) would have been stronger.
    But in any case, great building!!

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I think cross has really nice effect during the night as the only source of light. It gives special glow on the central space. See night photos.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I do appreciate the fact that the cross is a bit to literal.
    We tend to overdo with artistic interpretance of space, but this project shows, in my opinion, the subtle understanding of human nature. I try to imagine people who will be in this chapel, and I have to to think of their pain and feeling of great loss. In those moments I would find a sign like this to be calming and beautiful. When in distress, we need something to be a bit more obvious in order to be noticed.
    And that said, I still find the cross to be so elegant and simple.
    Amazing building!

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I agree with ‘three zed’…Although I see Terry and Fedricks’ point, I feel that an understated crucifix would have been a bit cliche or forced. The abruptness of the cross is nicely unexpected…just my 2 cents….

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I disagree with the criticism of the crucifix- I think it could be rather powerful. I’m not too familiar with local customs or the actual function of this chapel, but I assume that it functions as a viewing area for the body before burial. In that case, you can imagine that the casket is presented in alignment with the cross. During the day, this would permit an imprint of sunlight in the shape of the cross to drape the body. Very literal, but also a very strong use of light as a christian allegory.

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Totally agree with previous comment by /Mookie Wilson. Exactly what I was thinking. Position and function is so discreet and not disturbing that should not be taken as “to literaly”. I think cross adds extra detail and sacral feeling in abstract empty space which, I presume have to be empty-without furniture.

  12. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The curved form of the design is modeled after the topography: It has as little to do with the overall experience or conceptual justification as the crucifix does to spiritual consolation. The choice of material doesn’t render me an ounce of sensory comfort. A run-of-the-mill design.

  13. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    i love it.
    the polished concrete and the curve at the exterior wall
    but for me i think the cross over the roof is a bit.. odd though. maybe it should span through the whole ceiling like the ando’s church.

  14. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    architecture by material and context (in this case – view from the window…)
    is it still an architecture?

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