Tanatorio de Almudevar / Sixto Marin Gavin

© Pedro Pegenaute

Architects: Sixto Marin Gavin
Location: Almudevar, Huesca,
Area: 320 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Pedro Pegenaute

Collaborators: Alejandro Navarro Planas
Structure : Pablo Choliz
Quantity Surveyor: Jose Luis Olacia
Mechanical Engineer: Oscaproyecta
Construction Company: Copre S.L
Client: Bernues 5 S.L
Site Surface: 1,003 sqm
Budget: 410,000 €

© Pedro Pegenaute

The town of is in the region of Huesca, 18 km SW from the capital  ,and is settled on top of an isolated hill.The plot of the building takes up a corner of an industrial area (Polígono del Canal) in the lower part of the town, where there are no clear urban references, and it is surrounded by industrial facilities. This location is quite disconcerting for a funeral home, for the visit to this kind of buildings is always difficult. Thus, the project had to put special attention in the tour that the visitors walk from the street to the funeral parlour, to say goodbye to their beloved ones, in order to allow them to keep their minds aside from such an inappropriate background.

© Pedro Pegenaute

With these premises, the building is planned as a squared prism, as an abstract object with an accurate design and execution, so that it outstands quietly among the pre-cast industrial buildings of the area.

© Pedro Pegenaute

The building was placed next to the walls of the plot, in order to enlarge the space that separates it from the sidewalks, putting distance between the funeral home’s own surroundings and the industrial area. The entrance square in the NE corner of the plot has been conceived as a continuation of the existing urbanization. The vegetation and the furniture lead to the entrance of the building, putting an order to the visitors’ arrival by creating different meeting points suitable for the reunion of relatives and friends. Once more, the aim of the project is to allow for a quiet transition between the outside world and the inside.

© Pedro Pegenaute

In the same way, the funeral home works as a Matryoshka doll, each room containing the others, enabling the visitors to progressively isolate themselves from the outside as they enter the building.

The main entrance is placed in the vertex of the square, under the projection of the building. The hall leads to the reception desk, the waiting room and the service corridor. All along the way to the funeral parlour, each room provides a higher level of intimacy thanks to the daylight, the warmer materials and their decreasing size. There are no drastic changes in the atmosphere conditions, as we understood its continuity as a crucial element to bring serenity to the inside of the funeral home.

© Pedro Pegenaute

Besides, the layout of the different uses of the building is designed to ensure that the public and the private tours never meet.

During the night time, the artificial lighting repeats the effect of daylight, so that the atmosphere remains as stable as possible. Thus, the lighting of the entrance square is displayed as a part of the furniture and the building itself.

Plan 01

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Tanatorio de Almudevar / Sixto Marin Gavin" 13 Mar 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=343559>