Crematorium Siesegem by Kaan Architecten rejects “pompous monumentalism”

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An austere content palette of concrete and gray marble helped Kaan Architecten create a number of calming and contemplative spaces within this crematorium in Belgium.

Comprised of one rectilinear volume made from blocks of unfinished concrete, Crematorium Siesegem is situated on a 5,476 square metre plot of land on the rural outskirts of Aalst – a municipality just half an hour outside of Brussels.

The 2-storey setting up has actually been created by Rotterdam-centered studio Kaan Architecten with lofty proportions and a intentionally pared-back content palette to “emanate genuine serenity”.

“In Belgium, crematoria traditionally have a more complex programme – they are spaces for gathering, enjoying a meal and reconnecting with relatives and friends,” explained Kaan Architecten.

“The choice of products along with the detailing are paramount to obtaining a placid mood.”

“Without succumbing to pompous monumentalism, the building and its surrounding grounds are a peaceful oasis for reminiscence,” continued the studio.

Huge inner corridors with partitions that evaluate at above 6 metres high direct off into the developing’s reception, cafeteria, condolence rooms and two principal ceremony halls, the most important of which might accommodate around 600 friends.

It functions rows of beige-coloured leather bench seats, meant as a visual reference to your hue of sand or dust.

Panels of grey Ceppo di Gré marble clad a lot of the room’s surfaces as well as lectern employed for offering eulogies.

Full height windows that overlook greenery-filled light wells or the surrounding terrain have also been integrated into several spaces to provide a “counterweight to the intensity experienced by the bereaved”.

“The interior speaks to visitors and appeals to their feelings, it instills calmness and the sequence of spaces boosts reflection,” stated the studio.

Rather than completely disguising the cremation process, the architect has allowed a couple of the oven chimneys to extend up through the building’s roughly-finished concrete ceiling through to glazed openings in the roof.

Belgian landscape architect Erik Dhont has formed the grounds to include a number of small hills exactly where ashes might be scattered, and an urn backyard. Grassy banking institutions also aid obscure a service street used by hearses, furnishing privateness to going to families all through funeral expert services.

Earlier this year Kaan Architecten expanded a 19th-century school in Aalst. The extension – which is named Utopia after the satirical novel by Thomas Moore – plays host to a music school and library, which has floor-to-ceiling bookcases that appear to support the building.

Photography is by Simone Bossi.

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