Horni Benesov (CZ)

Funeral hall & columbarium

The building is on a square-shaped plant of 29.7m on the side.

The main volumes that compose it are 4 (like the phases of human being):

  • Relatives room
  • Main room
  • Entrance
  • Service room

The roof, composed of rectangular steel beams, creates a 2.5m chessboard that rests on the loadbearing walls of the central body and then continues cantilever. The louvers, curved in white glazed metal, take the curved shape that recalls the geometry of the leaves; the visitor will feel protected from the roof like a large pergola of a vineyard, as a metaphor of life.

Another element that can be related to life is in the secret garden; a mirror of water surrounded by 3 solid walls overlooking the room, accessible only to relatives. At the center is an almond tree, the first to bloom in the spring after its winter death, symbolizes the renewal of nature.

The 6m high chimney, positioned at the center of the floorplan, is a big solar collector that, through a series of mirrors, he carries the light to the center of the main room, irradiating the coffin. The ceiling, conceived as an inverted pyramid trunk, emphasizes the heaviness of the ritual that contrasts with the “column of light” that seems to support the volume. After the funeral coffin goes out of the building. The relatives can see it but can not reach it because it goes out throgh a bridge surrounded by water.

Marble is used for interior and exterior walls with continuity solutions, minimizing indoor outdoor difference. The colors chosen are attributable to the shades of the existing boundary walls to obtain a harmonious insertion in the context. The external space is dominated by a white stone floor (the same color as the roof).

Another element that characterizes the exterior is the water that surround south and east side which represent light and dawn.

Beyond to the touch and the sight, the hearing is the third sense involved through the two small waterfalls placed to the south.

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