Studio Associato Bernardo Secchi Paola Viganò

Architecture | Urbanism | Landscape

new crematorium in Kortrijk- international competition


client: city of Kortrijk
program: service
date: 2005
consultant: Dirk Jaspaert (BAS), H.Q.E experts  



In the landscape stays the crematorium: down enough to be inside the cultivated fields and lower of the Ambassadorlaan; high enough to watch the slope from its interior and from above. There is no separation between the architecture and the landscape, between the ritual and the practice of the landscape: the crematorium is a part of the course that describe a territory. It can be described starting from the functional rationality of the ceremony but also and in a more significant way, through the sequences of the experienced spaces. In this sequence the physical character of the space changes together with materials and with the conditions of enlightening: small and wide spaces; high and low ceilings are marked by differences in materials and by a different presence of natural and artificial light. 
The prism of the crematorium is mute to the exterior; it protects its interiority; it is a space of mental concentration and meditation, an attempt to confront ourselves with the theme of a laic and intense sacrality.  The most important consequence is a strong homogeneity of the materials and of the treatment of the surfaces: a massive podium in concrete made on site belonging to the same grammar of the walls and terraces of the existing cemetery, and a protective skin of wooden lath running on three sides of the crematorium. The North facade which remains transparent with large windows on the atrium. The skin doubles, with the same texture, inside the crematorium, solving the problems of privacy and giving unity to all the interior  spaces. The two aulas and the cremation area are divided from the rest by concrete walls giving inertia to the construction and reducing the energy consumption:. At the interior of the ceremony aula the concrete will be painted in white. The roof is sustained by the steel pillars painted in black; partially open to the public the roof is a mineral garden.  The crematorium will age in a natural way: the concrete walls will be marked by the rain and climate passage; the wooden skin protected by the roof will in any case change, its color becoming more similar to a grey petrified forest, the roof will be a masked surface in the tones of a grey green with some red touches. The bricks also will age fading and darkling their colors when outside. The difference between exterior and interior space will be simply marked by a different process of ageing.


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studio 05

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