The proposal by Josep Ferrando, David Recio, and Rafael Aliende for the new crematorium in the Hörnli cemetery respects the identity of the protected existing building while establishing a void between it and the upper street level, an “entrance space”. This “empty-built” space between the two buildings, the existing one and the new one, becomes the entry square because of their connection in the underground level. This way, the new building appears as a visually independent and representative piece, isolated among the trees. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The Building Department of the Canton of Basel, Switzerland has conducted an architectural competition for the construction of a new crematorium in the Hörnli cemetery. Their design protects the existing building by leaving a distance, in appearance, at the upper street level without disturbing it. The covering material, polished black concrete, allows the trees’ girths and shadows be “tattooed” into the building skin, putting it into context. It pretends to be an elegant and sober architecture that responds to the demanded multicultural character. The new building also generates a distance and a dialogue with the protected curved wall which becomes the down level base.
The section of the building creates the chimney and the void that provides natural light to the lower floor spaces. This section and the same section inverted that forms the patio provide the visitors room this particular domestic atmosphere. A space which could not have another use, a “place-home” which receives the visitor to the last goodbye of their loved ones as they were at home. A place in which the visitor could have the presence of the rain and snow as they were in the exterior.
The total number of patios provide light and natural air to the underground offices and technical rooms as well as they distribute and organize the spaces on both upper and lower levels. Concrete benches and patios organize the square’s space as well as they serve as a waiting, relaxing and contemplating area of the amazing natural surroundings.
The compact volume, constructive properties and very little glass surface in relation with total skin allow the building to reduce energy consumption during the whole year.