Few subjects evoke as much sensitivity and refection, both within architecture and beyond, as those of death and mortality. Frank Lloyd Wright’s timeless reflection that “youth is a quality, and once you have it, you never lose it, and when they put you in the box, that is your immortality” offers one insight into how architects place not just their buildings, but also their lives and careers in perspective.
Furthering this engagement between architecture and mortality is HofmanDujardin, a Dutch studio which has sought to “rethink the way we say goodbye” with the design of a new Funeral Centre. Placing the coffin at its epicenter, the scheme translates the memorial sequence into three moments: the gathering of friends and family, the ceremony of remembrance, and the moment of social encounter.
The first room sees an assembly of friends and family, enclosed by a “memory wall.” The multimedia screen, displaying videos and photographs collected from the family, forms a lively collage celebrating the life of the deceased. The images form a background to the silent atmosphere, creating a “sublime, shared moment of collectively reliving stories.”
The second room hosts the actual remembrance ceremony and defines the shape of all three rooms. A triangular plan creates an intimate atmosphere, enclosed by two curved walls which bend inwards to define a passage for the coffin. The ceremony takes place against the backdrop of an expansive panorama of the natural surroundings, implying a “flow back towards nature, closing the circle of life.”
The third space offers the opportunity for enhanced social relations after the ceremony. Timber clad walls and floors instill an atmosphere of warmth and comfort, while a neutral round serving table makes the room suitable for formal and informal events.
The lack of places for worthy send offs results in unease feelings during crucial moments in our lives. Naturally following our design philosophy Shaping Intuition®, focusing on the intuitive values of human beings, we designed a Funeral Centre which tries to break this discomfort. The design combines timeless qualities with elements of our modern ways of life.
-Michiel Hofman, Co-Founder, HofmanDujardin
Area 1600 m²
Renderings VERO Visuals
News via: HofmanDujardin