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Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome. Isaac Asimov (1920–1992)


Goodbye Architecture The Architecture of Crematoria in Europe Vincent Valentijn and Kim Verhoeven

nai010 publishers


CONTENTS

Crematoria Map 6 Goodbye Architecture 8 Introduction by Vincent Valentijn and Kim Verhoeven

Alfaset  18 Oslo (NO)

Hofheide  72 Holsbeek (BE) GSPublisherVersion 0.0.100.46

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Baumschulenweg  24 Berlin (DE)

Kassel  78 (DE) GSPublisherVersion 0.0.100.47

Reader’s Guide 15

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Bispebjerg  32 Copenhagen (DK)

Liebenfels  82 Baden (CH) GSPublisherVersion 0.0.100.47

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Brno  38

Medway  86 Chatham (UK)

(CZ)

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Crematorion  44 Amsterdam (NL)

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De Nieuwe Noorder  Amsterdam (NL)

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Crownhill  48 Milton Keynes (UK)

Nordheim  98 Zurich (CH)

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Fælleskrematoriet  54 Ringsted (DK)

Père-Lachaise  106 Paris (FR)

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Haslum  60 Baerum (NO)

Rennes Métropole  Rennes (FR)

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Heimolen  66 Sint-Niklaas (BE)

Rosenberg  118 Winterthur (CH) GSPublisherVersion 0.0.100.48

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Analysis Skogsljus  124 Gävle (SE) GSPublisherVersion 0.0.100.47

Tempio di Cremazione  130 Parma (IT) GSPublisherVersion 0.0.100.46

Uitzicht  136 Kortrijk (BE) GSPublisherVersion 0.0.100.46

Vestfold  142 Sandefjord (NO) GSPublisherVersion 0.0.100.48

Vestre lille kapel  Aarhus (DK)

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Viladecans  154 (ES) GSPublisherVersion 0.0.100.48

Waldfriedhof  160 Duisburg (DE) GSPublisherVersion 0.0.100.47

Yarden  166 Haarlem (NL) GSPublisherVersion 20.0.77.60

Development of Crematorium Architecture  Place of the Crematorium  176 Functional Programme  178 Number of Cremations  180 Logistics of Crematoria  182 Farewell Spaces  184 Rituals, Spaces, Atmosphere  186 Chimneys and Other Taboos  188 Cremation as a Ritual  190

174

Theory, Design and Practice Ideals into Ashes – Luigi Bartolomei  194 Interview with Vincent Panhuysen, KAAN Architecten  Interview with François Michaud-Nérard, Les Services Funéraire de la Ville de Paris  207 Interview with Gyda Drage Kleiva and Martha Melbye, PUSHAK AS  213 Kaleidoscopic Crematoria – Douglas J. Davies  219 Interview with Kris Coenegrachts, IGS Westlede  226 Interview with Dominique Vitti, PLAN01  234 Interview with Ola Asp, Vestfold, VK-IKS  239 The Fire in Our Imagination – Laura Cramwinkel  244 Interview with Paolo Zermani, Zermani Associati Studio di Architettura  251 Short History of Cremation 260 Cremation Technology  264 Glossary  267 Bibliography  268 About the Authors 

270

201


Researched crematoria 2014-2017

45

42

The authors’ journey 13

14

43

15

48 16

12 11 10

8

23 22

3

21 5 38

1

2 44

7

24

39

40

9

4

27 25 26

6 41

28

37

36

31

32 20 33

34

19 18 17

35 6

29

30


1 2 3

4 5 6

7 8

46

9 10 11 12 47

13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

21 22 23 24

Baumschulenweg, Berlin (DE)   Shultes Frank Architekten, 1998 De Nieuwe Noorder, Amsterdam (NL) Dok architecten, 2012 Crematorium Meerbloemhof, Zoetermeer (NL) kbng architectuur, stedebouw en restauratie, 2006 Heimolen, Sint-Niklaas (BE) Claus en Kaan Architecten, 2008 Uitzicht, Kortrijk (BE) Eduardo Souto de Moura + SumProject, 2011 Hofheide, Holsbeek (BE) RCR Arquitectes + COUSSÉE & GORIS architecten, 2013 Yarden, Haarlem (NL) Dok architecten, 2002 Crematorium Westerveld, Driehuis (NL) Marius Poel, 1913 with extensions by W.M. Dudok in 1926, 1939 and 1952 Waldfriedhof, Duisburg (DE)  Jutta Heinze, 2002 Fælleskrematoriet, Ringsted (DK)  Henning Larsen, 2013 Bispebjerg, Copenhagen (DK) Friis & Moltke A/S, 2002 Mariebjerg Chapel & Crematory, Gentofte (DK) Frits Schlegel, 1937 Alfaset, Oslo (NO) Arkitektene as, 2009 Haslum, Baerum (NO) John Engh, 1966 Vestfold, Sandefjord (NO) PUSHAK AS, 2010 Vestre lille kapel, Aarhus (DK) Henning Larsen, 1969 Crematorio di Modena, Modena (IT) Aldo Rossi, 1984 Tempio di Cremazione, Parma (IT) Zermani Associati Studio di Architettura, 2010 Cimitero Monumentale, Milan (IT) Carlo Maciachini, 1866 Rosenberg, Winterthur (CH) Bridler und Völki / Architekten-Kollektiv 2003 Medway, Chatham (UK) Sir Guy Dawber, Fox & Robinson / Clay Architecture, 1959 / 2013 Coychurch Crematorium, Bridgend (UK) Maxwell Fry, 1970 Crownhill, Milton Keynes (UK) Milton Keynes building department, 2011 Golders Green, London (UK) Ernest George, 1902

25 Krematorium Kassel, Kassel (DE) Bieling Architekten BDA, 2001 26 Krematorium Gotha, Gotha (DE) Julius Bertuch and Carl Heinrich Stier, 1878 27 Krematorium Tolkewitz, Dresden (DE) Architekturbüro Siegmar Lungwitz, extension, 2014 28 Krematorium Strašnice, Prague (CZ) Alois Mezera, 1932 29 Brněnské krematorium, Brno (CZ) Ernst Wiesner, 1929 30 Feuerhalle Simmering, Vienna (AT) Clemens Holzmeister, 1922 31 Krematorium am Urnenhain, Urfahr, Linz (AT) Klaus Kada, 2003 32 Liebenfels, Baden (CH) Edi and Ruth Lanners + Res Wahlen, 1957 33 Nordheim, Zurich (CH) Albert Heinrich Steiner, 1967 34 Crématorium Grenoble, Grenoble (FR) Groupe-6, 1986 35 Tanatorio de Viladecans, Viladecans (ES) BJAASS, 2014 36 Crématorium de Rennes Métropole, Vern-sur-Seiche (FR) PLAN01, 2009 37 Père-Lachaise Crématorium, Paris (FR)  Jean-Camille Formigé, 1889 38 Crématorium Amiens, Amiens (FR) PLAN01, 2015 39 Crematorium Groningen (NL) A.H. Wegerif, 1962 40 Crematorium Rusthof, Leusden (NL) EGM architecten, 2002 41 Welkenraedt Crematorium, Welkenraedt (BE) Daniel Dethier, 2010 42 Skogsljus, Gävle (SE) ELLT arkitektkontor, 1960-1965 43 Woodland Crematorium, Stockholm (SE) Erik Gunnar Asplund, 1940 44 Crematorion, Amsterdam (NL) GroupA, 2016 45 Vuorentaan krematorio, Hämeenlinna (FI) Arkkitehtitoimisto Kaipainen Oy, 2013 46 Crematorium Kedainiai (LT) Architektų biuras, G. Natkevičius ir partneriai, 2011 47 Crematorium Kiev, Kiev (UA) Abraham Miletsky, 1975 48 Mortonhall Crematorium, Edinburgh (UK) Sir Basil Spence, Glover & Ferguson, 1967

7


Goodbye Architecture Introduction Vincent Valentijn and Kim Verhoeven Studio Pekka

1 See the map of the crematoria that were part of the study; the dotted lines represent the various research trips.

8

Goodbye Architecture is largely based on a long-term study of the architecture of crematoria in Europe. 1 The study focuses on built examples that can inspire new ways of designing and thinking about crematoria. In the five years that we spent working on this architecture study and producing the book, we not only got many surprised looks but we were also often asked what inspired us to study this subject in the first place. Even thinking about human mortality and death seems to make many people uncomfortable. Considering the crematorium and what cremation actually is – the decomposition of our physical bodies in flames – adds to their discomfort. Fortunately, we also noticed how in every case, initial restraint quickly turned into fascination: for the beautiful buildings, for the people who work there with a lot of passion and attention and for the way crematoria show how differently the various European cultures each deal with death and the final farewell. We first took the initiative to investigate the architecture of crematoria because we noticed that there was little practical information on this subject available to us as architects. This greatly surprised us, because there is no doubt that a big shift is taking place: the number of cremations is increasing across Europe. Our first explorations yielded images and floor plans of a limited number of buildings, but these told us practically nothing about the way crematoria actually work, how they are realized and on which ideas they are based. Existing literature portrays cremation as a practice that is still under development and with which the people of Europe still have a difficult relationship. Crematoria are pictured as equally problematic and paradoxical buildings. We naturally asked ourselves what architecture could contribute to the crematorium. As there was virtually no information about the nature and operation of the current crematoria, we felt more or less forced to carry out field research ourselves. As it turned out, this led to a true voyage of discovery.


84% 85%

CH

SK

28

83%

83%

DK

2

15%

CZ

20

16%

81% 75%

SE

27

59

273

25%

19%

17%

17%

UK

45% 64%

HU

36%

63%

17

NL 80

55%

132

IR 4

1

PL

1

70

24%

PT

23

51%

77%

76%

IS

93%

BG

FI

1

55%

69%

31%

49%

LU

43%

164

172

40%

85%

DE

57%

17

FR

132

41%

ES

BE

60%

NO

13

80%

59%

59%

AT 45%

37%

41%

IT 2

23%

Burial versus cremation Number of cremations by country

18

cremation 20%

15%

7%

burial

Source: International cremation statistics of the Cremation Society of [Great] Britain 2016

A Voyage of Discovery Once we had made inquiries in our own country and visited several crematoria there, we realized that there are huge differences between crematoria. Not only because of the period in which they have been designed and built, but also due to the fact that their founders had different visions. We quickly understood that disentangling all these factors would not result in a fruitful contribution. Instead, we decided to focus on the potential that we recognized in architecture. This quickly suggested ​​looking outside the Netherlands. We were immediately surprised by a visit to the Hofheide crematorium in neighbouring Belgium. In Belgium, the distribution and establish­ment of crematoria is regulated by the government and their management is in the hands of intermunicipal organizations. The Flemish Government Architect considers crematoria in Flanders as buildings with a significant function that therefore require strong architecture. 9


This has resulted in a number of architecturally interesting crematoria that are very diverse and show the different ways in which the challenge can be met. They provided us with a different perspective. The Belgian outlook on the development of crematoria in the Netherlands was new to us as well: they seriously wondered whether it was a good idea to put the responsibility for the creation of serious architecture for buildings that are important to the general public in the hands of market parties. After all, commercial parties are evidently likely to pursue their own interests, first. This became even clearer when we understood that not all crematoria in Belgium currently carry out the number of cremations they are built to handle. Rather than to a miscalculation, this is mainly due to the countries actively far-sighted national policies. Having crematoria that are not yet fully operational is in fact a sideeffect of a clear long-term vision that anticipates a future in which the number of cremations will increase. The current surplus anticipates a future in which the crematoria will indeed be in full operation. We continued our journey in Scandinavia, where more surprises awaited us. We had of course already noticed that some modern crematoria are clearly designed with great attention. From images and sparse floor plans we had also found that most crematoria have no designated ceremonial hall or anything of the kind. We were therefore very curious to see how visitors moved through the buildings and wanted to find out more about the role of the crematorium in the funeral ritual. During our first visit to the Danish Ringsted crematorium we learned that all of these beautiful buildings are actually hardly visited by relatives at all. Generally, crematoria do not play any part in the funeral service here; after the final farewell an undertaker brings the body to the crematorium and only very few relatives go there to collect the ashes themselves. ‘So why the building?!’, we couldn’t help but ask. ‘The building exists because it matters,’ was the answer.2 ‘Crematoria are dignified buildings with an important function; we may not build them for the eyes of the public by definition, but they must be respectful places for the accommodation of our dead and the operations surrounding death. This also requires a high-quality cultural product.’

2 Interview with Tom Olsen, manager of Fælleskrematoriet, Ringsted.

10

During our field research we kept discovering crematoria in which the functions surrounding cremation were combined in different ways, with the buildings being used differently as well. In Duisburg we first came across a crematorium that also served as a funeral home. It had a mortuary and funerariums so relatives could visit in the days prior to the farewell service and there was also a memorial hall that overlooked a wooded cemetery. Further into Germany, in Kassel, all the functions were present at the location as well, but the crematorium itself presented as a fully autonomous oven facility placed among the existing


90 Switzerland switzerland Slovenia slovenia Denmark denmark Czech czechRepublic republic Sweden sweden United unitedKingdom kingdom

80

70 Hungary hungary the theNetherlands netherlands

60

belgium Belgium Germany germany

Luxembourg luxembourg Total totalaverage average Finland ďŹ nland

50

Austria austria

Norway norway

40

France france

iceland Iceland

30

poland Poland Italy italy Spain spain

20

Ireland ireland

10

2015

2013

2011

2009

2007

2005

2003

2001

1999

1997

1995

1980

1960

1940

0

bulgaria Bulgaria

1920

Cremation development

cremation statistics from Crematies Society Britain * international * International cremation statistics from the the Cremations Society of Greatof Britain untiluntil 2016.2016 * Portugal and Romania are not in this graphic since they have an overall cremation rate of less than 1% but they are consid* Portugal and Romania are not in this graphic since they have an overall cremation rate of less than 1% but ered in the total average. * Percentages are averages country but there are big differences between regions, city and countryside. For example they are considered in theper total average. Portugal is below 1% on average but the city of Lisbon scores 50% cremation rate by itself, the same goes for Germany are averages per country but there are big di erences between regions, city and countryside. * Percentages where the ThĂźringen region scores over 90% from 1995 on. There are gaps in data is forbelow Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany,but Luxembourg, Poland and Spain. For50% this graphic, available data For* example Portugal 1% on average the city of Lisbon scores cremation rate by itself, was extrapolated and additional data when available. the same goes for Germany where the ThĂźringen region scores over 90% from 1995 on. * There are gaps in data available for Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany, Luxembourg, Poland and Spain. For this

graphic, available data was extrapolated and additional data when available.

functions as a sort of modern pavilion. Moreover, it was also used differently. Further to the east of Europe, in the Czech Republic, we came across the big, monumental crematoria of Prague and Brno. Overwhelming at first glance, but with a touch of social realism still discernible in the interior, these buildings were apparently mainly experienced as very public and accessible. At the Viennese Feuerhalle Simmering, embedded in a former castle garden, we learned that most of the farewell services here took place with the urn present. In other places in Europe, 1

11


Different stages of the farewell

laying out of the body the viewing or wake

ceremony

cremation

ceremony

destining the ashes

3 Also see ‘Functional Programme’, 178-179. 4 More than 358 cremation ovens according to data from 2014 (source: www.spanjevandaag. com/28/10/2015/spanje-is-heteuropese-land-met-de-meestecrematoria). 5 See the crematorium of Viladecans near Barcelona. 6 Also see ‘Rituals, Space, Atmosphere’, 186.

12

this is a development that is just getting under way and which, we think, may impact logistics. Apparently there would be no end to the diversity for in Switzerland, Italy, England, Spain and France we also came across differences in rules and traditions that came with general and specific architectural details. Diversity as Typology A question that increasingly arose during the study was: what is a crematorium anyway? Its main function is cremation, that seems selfevident, but which other functions does it have, and not have?3 When does a crematorium become a funeral home with a cremation oven? Spain, or so we were told, has the most locations for cremation ovens, however these are usually found in large funeral homes, where cremation is a marginally important process.4 Spain has hardly any crematoria that carry out services exclusively devoted to cremation.5 Originally, the crematorium was nothing but a building erected around the cremation oven.6 All other functions are basically secondary and vary in nature and design. To be specific, the functions can be divided into events that take place before the cremation and events that take place after the cremation. This book does not discuss truly monofunctional crematoria, in which only technical cremation takes place without any kind of ceremony or additional function, although these do exist in some countries. Such crematoria exclusively convert bodies to ashes in an anonymous location. This will undoubtedly draw customers, but the relationship with architecture and more specifically between the ritual and the physical transition is practically absent here. The closest to a purely technical crematorium in terms of functions came a number of crematoria in Scandinavia that comprised not only cremation spaces but also mortuaries. At the same time, these examples show that the limited presence of a public certainly does not mean crematoria do not express their ritual function; the opposite is true. Moreover, these crematoria are well equipped to receive relatives that want to ritualize the final farewell and the committal at the crematorium. In many countries, it is customary to have the farewell service take place in the crematorium. This custom may have arisen from the fact that in the early days of crematoria, there simply was nowhere else the farewell ceremony could take place. The configuration of the crematorium with a much-visited auditorium is therefore the most common. In many cases they have a columbarium as well and in some cases, a complete morgue with facilities for a wake. The latter elements have a major impact on the experience and use of the crematorium as they are connected to other moments of the funeral process.


We frequently found spaces for condolence meetings inside crematoria themselves in some countries, notably the Netherlands and Belgium. There, the bereaved can come together in a separate space inside the crematorium to share condolences, while food and drink is served there as well. An additional advantage is that this allows a different design of the ritual process, which we came across only in Belgium. If the relatives wish it they can, for example, collect the ashes after the mourning meal or, if the ceremony involves the presence of the ashes, they can first either with everyone present or with a select group take the ashes to either the cemetery or the columbarium, before the condolence meeting takes place. Attending the committal, finally, plays a special part. We have seen that this aspect is undergoing a development in many places in Europe. Crematoria increasingly make it possible for relatives to watch the actual committal from a witness room or from the committal room itself or to even literally push the button inside the

Diversity of the programme From mono-function to funeral parlour

mortuary committal

committal

cremation oven

cremation oven

office

processing of ashes

processing of ashes

storage of ashes

storage of ashes

condolence room and buffet waiting

waiting

waiting

the viewing or wake

columbarium

columbarium

columbarium

ceremony

ceremony

mortuary

mortuary

witnessing

office

cremation oven processing of ashes

ashes ceremony

storage of ashes

witnessing

laying out of the body

committal

office

ceremony

mortuary

cremation oven processing of ashes

ashes ceremony

storage of ashes

witnessing committal

committal

office

cremation oven processing of ashes

ashes ceremony

storage of ashes

13


oven space. This option can really only be offered given suitable architecture, because they bring the public and the technological realm together. The Development of Crematoria Though this book contains a lot of information that has not been disclosed before, the European crematorium is in too much of a state of flux for us to reach conclusions or strict categorizations. Rather, as far as we are concerned the study and this publication are about what the European crematorium can be. Despite all the differences inside Europe, it is clear that many countries are undergoing similar developments. In relation to cremation these are mainly secularization and individualization. Consequentially the need for new, more fitting ceremonial activities surrounding cremation is growing. The architecture of crematoria can certainly play an important role in this respect. Crematoria always ensue from local values and conditions that we can only understand in a wider context and that are often not easy to interpret and not interchangeable. The buildings are a reflection of the way we deal with our dead, of our cultures, customs, backgrounds and government regulations. We hope to feed the discussion on the subject by the contributions in this book about an unusual and important building, of which we should especially note that it is undergoing developments that will continue for a long time to come. We think that right now, in the midst of rapid changes in our approach to cremation, it is worthwhile to share the spatial and aesthetic answers expressed by the architecture of crematoria. We hope to offer not only information, but also a perspective. The book is an open invitation for everyone to re-evaluate their ideas, after all, these are often limited by previous knowledge.

14


Reader’s Guide How does one design spaces for the final farewell? This is the central question of this book. Though there are handbooks for the design of spaces for work, education, health care, detention, recreation and so on, the context in which architects, commissioners and users of crematoria have to operate usually comprises nothing but local and national policy and regulations. Rather than about goodbye architecture alone, this book is also a guide for commissioners, designers, operators and anyone else involved, either professionally or merely out of interest, in the buildings in which cremation rituals and funeral logistics take place. Rather than poetically describing their architecture, this book compares a diverse palette of European crematoria with regard to the way in which they establish funeral processes and create farewell spaces as well as to the significance of the buildings themselves. This book does not want to be a guideline for the design of crematoria. The gap between highly specifically designed buildings such as crematoria and generic spatial models such as typologies is too large for this. The study shows that the examples cannot be traced back to a uniform programme, spatial typology or handling of transport movements. Like the rest of the built environment, crematoriums reflect the stuff social life is made of and their form is an expression of all the social, cultural, economic and political aspects that together comprise our living environment.

Practice’ section, finally, includes interviews and essays. They represent a selection of some perspectives on the subject that the researchers came across. The written contributions place the crematorium as an architectural design challenge in a historical, cultural, technical or other social perspective. The interviews in which architects and commissioners have their say show how they think architecture can create spaces for the final farewell. We assume that the way in which crematoria are used and the functions and requirements with which their designs have to comply are strongly related to the cultural differences within the diversity that is Europe. At the same time, we see that – despite the differences – we can learn from each other. This book not only shows how landscapes and buildings can embed spaces for saying goodbye, how logistics can be supported by the way spaces are sequenced, and how architecture can make room for the intimacy and emotions of the farewell. The multiplicity of manifestations shows that there is no best possible solution for the spatial problem of farewell. Because in the design, decoration and use of crematoria there is room for the unusualness of that which is inseparable from everyday life: death and farewell, in all their various forms of expression. Jeroen Visschers

The book answers questions about the architecture of crematoria by a multitude of carefully selected examples. The selection was made during a study in collaboration with an expert focus group which, on the basis of architecture, thinking about crematoria and their practical operations, decided on the best way to show the diversity and richness of crematorium architecture. The 26 included crematoria present a broad and diverse range of answers to the question of what the crematorium can be. Each of them is illustrated with photos, project information, flowcharts and drawings and has an accompanying project text. These project sheets are complemented with overviews and datasheets in which the differences and similarities between the crematoria are thematically interpreted. Using the various themes as starting points, the projects can be considered from various perspectives. The ‘Theory, Design and

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De Nieuwe Noorder Location Commissioner Architect Year

Amsterdam (NL) Amsterdam-Noord District Dok architecten 2012 5

13%

400

cremations per year

4

19%

17%

11%

1.415

m2 total programme

10%

14% 25%

83%

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Cremations cremations ‘technical’ ceremonies witnessing

1 cremation oven

Programme ceremonial spaces waiting rooms catering / restaurant staff funerarium oven room / technical installations witnessing

P

GPS  52°24’22.75’’N 4°55’35.36’’E

02_Nieuwe Noorder | 1:10000

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Scale 1:10.000


the Netherlands

This crematorium in AmsterdamNoord shows how an intelligent architectural concept can make a major contribution to people’s experience of the funeral ritual. Because the architects did not approach the crematorium as a single building, but as a succession of moments, the complex is flexible and offers visitors room to quietly experience the greenery between the buildings.

De Nieuwe Noorder  Amsterdam

Farewell in Nature Near the Heart of Amsterdam

Funeral over Water De Nieuwe Noorder is situated in AmsterdamNoord along the Noordhollandsch Kanaal, just outside the centre of the city, in the cemetery of the same name. This cemetery is accessible from the Amsterdam canals by the IJ and regularly used for a funeral over water. Relatives board a funeral boat in the city centre of Amsterdam and sail to De Nieuwe Noorder together with the deceased.1

1  Interview with manager Dick Deventer, 11 April 2014. Also see youtu.be/feTdFgQLB9U.

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Skogsljus Location Commissioner Architect Year

Gävle (SE) Gävle kyrkliga samfällighet ELLT arkitektkontor 1960-1965 1 2

27%

1.506 cremations per year

11% 28%

1.840

73%

m2 total 35% programme

8%

16%

Cremations

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cremations ‘technical’ ceremonies witnessing 2 cremation ovens

Programme ceremonial spaces waiting rooms staff oven room / technical installations witnessing mortuary

P

GPS  60°40’23.43’’N 17°5’42.75’’E

D_Gavle | 1:10000

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sweden

Skogsljus Gävle

Symbiosis of Architecture, Forest and Natural Light

The Gävle crematorium lies hidden in the forest near Skogskyrkogården cemetery. Though the grounds are close to the highway that connects Stockholm to the Finnish border, visitors hardly notice this: the site is a haven of peace. The crematorium was designed by four architects who established architecture studio ELLT after they, fresh out of architecture school, won the design competition in 1954. Once the crematorium had been completed in 1965 – it had been in use for five years at that time – it was awarded the Kasper Salin Award on behalf of the Swedish Association of Architects.

125


Place of the Crematorium Where we say goodbye to our loved ones reflects the position of ‘death’ in our society, while our interaction with this place mirrors how we interpret that parting. In any case, travelling to a place, and how we experience it, has a lot of influence on our experience of the send-off.

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18_Tempiodi diCremazione Parma | 1:10000 Parma (IT) Tempio

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09_Waldfriedhof Duisburg | 1:10000 (DE) Waldfriedhof Duisburg

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33_Nordheim ZurichZurich | 1:10000(CH) Nordheim

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11_Bispebjerg | 1:10000 Bispebjerg Copenhagen (DK)

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23_Crownhill | 1:10000 Crownhill Milton Keynes (UK)

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35_Viladecans | 1:10000 Viladecans (ES)

176

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37_Père Lachaise | 1:10000 Père-Lachaise Paris (FR)

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21_Medway | 1:10000 Medway Chatham (UK)

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The Hallway to the Crematorium For those invited, the experience of saying goodbye starts with travelling to the crematorium. Graveyards are often situated on the edges of our cities; this is possibly even more so in the case of crematoria. Since they are initially conceived as a functional alternative, practical places are often chosen to erect crematoria. They are easy to reach, offer adequate parking space and the risk of disturbing local residents is minimized.1 No matter what, going to the crematorium means entering ‘another world’. The location and embedding can support this event and allow visitors to experience the transition. The staging of the arrival and the embedding is often strongly influenced by the context of the landscape surrounding the building.


Functional Programme When modern cremation was introduced into Western society, it created a completely new building type. What a crematorium, which had to dispose of the body in an effective way, should look like, was not yet determined by a set of clearly defined rules, as was the case with cemeteries. It was also unclear as to what functions would take place in the building, apart from cremation. To this day, this question has no unambiguous answers. Depending on local historical developments, customs and under the influence of the role of the government and market, you can find crematoria of different typologies in various places across Europe.1 Besides, the ideas around handling death and cremation are diverse, and the building type is still evolving.

3.180

280

m2 total programme

Crematorion Amsterdam (NL)

1.450

m2 total programme

Haslum BĂŚrum (NO)

820

m2 total programme

m2 total programme

Heimolen Sint-Niklaas (BE)

2.200

m2 total programme

Kassel (DE)

1.050

m2 total programme

Vestfold Sandefjord (NO)

1.840

m2 total programme

m2 total programme

Medway Chatham (UK)

Uitzicht Kortrijk (BE)

Skogsljus Gävle (SE)

1.850

5.820 m2 total programme

1.340

m2 total programme

3.620

Viladecans (ES)

Nordheim Zurich (CH)

Liebenfels Baden (CH)

Waldfriedhof Duisburg (DE)

1.415

1.840

m2 total programme

m2 total programme

m2 total programme

ceremonial spaces waiting rooms catering / restaurant staff funerarium committal room / technical installations

De Nieuwe Noorder Amsterdam (NL)

178

780

Yarden Haarlem (NL)

witnessing mortuary

m2 total programme


Number of Cremations 5

One of the most important reasons for the rise of crematoria in Europe is still a controversial subject. The efficiency of burning corpses is always connected to the factory-like character that almost all crematoria try to hide. The amount of cremations that crematoria perform also mirrors several elements that influence architecture. What immediately catches the eye are the enormous differences in the number of cremations performed. For the crematoria included in this book, those numbers vary from 550 to over 10,000 cremations a year.

13% 30%

400

463

cremations per year

cremations per year

70%

83%

De Nieuwe Noorder Amsterdam (NL)

Crematorion Amsterdam (NL)

1

1 7% 27%

1.155

cremations per year

1.720

cremations per year

73%

92%

Rennes Métropole Vern-sur-Seiche (FR)

3

10%

33%

2.420 cremations per year

57%

7% 2

2.856

2.712

36%

Liebenfels Baden (CH)

cremations per year

60%

cremations per year

2.900 cremations per year

91% Tempio di Cremazione Parma (IT)

Heimolen Sint-Niklaas (BE)

1

1

5.500

98%

Bispebjerg Copenhagen (DK)

Père-Lachaise Paris (FR)

180

Waldfriedhof Duisburg (DE)

24% 33%

53%

93%

Nordheim Zurich (CH)

13%

cremations per year

7.443

cremations per year

cremations per year

99%

7.500

7% 1

7.050

cremations per year

Rosenberg Winterthur (CH)

10.130 cremations per year

cremations ‘technical’ ceremonies

76%

Baumschulenweg Berlin (DE)

witnessing

Medway Chatham (UK)

1

7.474

cremations per year

99% Fælleskrematoriet Ringsted (DK)


Logistics of Crematoria

3

3

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The flow chart of activities plays a very important part in the design of the crematorium. Its logistics comprise a functional puzzle that needs to be solved to optimize its operation and, in addition, structures and streamlines the visitor experience.

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Liebenfels Baden (CH)

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182

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Two Flows The schematic description of a crematorium always includes two major flows: that of the coffin and that of the visitors. The handling of the coffin is usually strictly regulated, because it is of the utmost importance that no mistakes are made here. In addition to a control system, a clear spatial organization contributes to the orderly execution of all activities surrounding the coffin, the cremation and the ashes. The logistics of the visitors are of course closely related to the various parts of the programme.1 The handling of the visitor flow plays a particularly important part in the context of the farewell service. The routing structures the sequencing of farewell moments and the corresponding spaces. Rather than only a spatial structure, it includes a temporal structure as well. The fact that different farewell services often have to take place simultaneously or

0

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Essay

Ideals into Ashes Notes on the Evolution of Crematorium Architecture in Europe Luigi Bartolomei

The relationship between death-oriented architecture and spiritual and religious experiences has always been self-evident. The past century, however, saw the onset of a demystification that heralded the advent of cremation across Europe. Is there, in current crematoria in particular, any space left and need for the experience of ‘the other’?

194


Ideals into Ashes

Theory–Design–Practice

1 Prosper de Pietra Santa, La Crémation des Morts en Italie (Paris: Baillière et fils, 1873), 6.

In Western Culture, flames are images of destruction and war, of eternal damnation and of heresy, of hell and of all that is feared. Wider still, remains the symbolic imaginary of fire as a spiritual and renewing element, already evoked to represent the Holy Spirit in the context of the Gospel. This concept of fire as a subtle and purifying element, coupled with fragmentary descriptions of Oriental costumes, inspired the inventions of funeral rites in the ideal societies of Thomas More’s Utopia (1516) and later, Thomas Campanella’s La Città del Sole (1623). Works of great success among their contemporary intellectuals, able to mitigate the fear of flames with the many properties of fire, the first being its antiseptic effect. Thus, when urban customs began to be analysed in the light of a Cartesian rationality, the incineration of the deceased was seen as a real and practicable way to getting rid of the many, many corpses piled up in church’s basements or urban cemeteries. These had begun to be unanimously recognized as the source of all ‘outbreaks of infections, of all unhealthy and mephitic effusions, of all the pollutions of the waters that have more than once brought contagion and death’.1 Although incineration remained an ideal answer to public health issues, political authorities instead chose to ban corpses from urban enclosures. This dispelled the daily familiarity with death that was perhaps the last trace of the Middle Ages. Death was forced into exile: processions of wagons crossed through Paris by night for 17 months from December 1785, disposing of the 6 million corpses stratified over the centuries in St Innocents cemetery. The Equalizing Symbolism of Ashes Only the subversion of the social structure generated by the French Revolution led to the design of an early example of an incineration burial monument. Just as the end of the funeral pyres was decreed by Charlemagne in 785 to extinguish Saxon culture, one thousand years later, the French citizens claimed liberté et égalité to tear loose from the tyranny of the Monarchy and the Church. At first the egalitarians favoured the democracy of the common burial, rather than the equality of ashes. But soon the proposal to retain freedom of choice between burial and incineration was repeatedly debated in the Council of the Five Hundred. The fire was healthy, it had the virtue of equally consuming the bodies of all citizens, avoiding distinctions in social ranks and classes and above all, it could replace Christian funerals with a ritual dating back to Ancient Greece, the origins of Democracy. These issues were most important to the Masonic lodges to which most of the protagonists of the revolution belonged. Fire as a symbolic and real antiseptic connected the two souls of Freemasonry and, ‘the two major cultural instances of the 1700s: the rationalistic

195


Cremation Technology

264


1 automatic insert machine 2 heat exchanger 3 bypass valve 4 injector 5 dump cooler 6 secondary heat exchanger 7 cremation oven (DFW 6000) 8 dust filter 9 AC filter

10 spark arrestor 11 spark arrestor container 12 flue gas fan 13 compressor 14 expansion tank 15 over pressure tank 16 oil-water separator 17 control panel

An Evolution of Technology Over the past century crematorium technology has developed into a highly advanced process in which every aspect of cremation is managed and monitored in detail. This not only improved efficiency but also allowed designers to place the technology even further out of sight of the public. Even having a visible chimney was actually no longer necessary. The current state of technology makes it possible to create bespoke installations. There are many possibilities in terms of setup and configuration. There are aesthetic options, various fuels can be used, there is a wide range of filter systems and there are various possibilities to actively use the residual heat that is released during the cremation process for heating or energy generation. Technical developments in the cremation process instigated the advent of cremation across Europe. Germany, Italy and France developed and used the first cremation ovens around 1850. The ovens were coal-, wood- and later gas-operated. In the early days, there was actually a technical race going on in which Siemens in Dresden and Polli, Brunetti and later also Clericetti and Gorini in Italy developed various ovens.1 The advance of cremation was inextricably linked to technical innovation. Yet many of the people involved felt uncomfortable with its emphatically technical and technological character and they were soon making attempts to disguise the oven and chimney in the design. A well-known example of this is the 1907 Hagen-Delstern crematorium in Germany, where Peter Behrens disguised the chimney as a tower.

The Aesthetics of Technology The association of ‘the transition’ or ‘the farewell’ with technology, and in particular with cremation, has long been considered problematic.2 However, this is now changing at various locations in Europe. On the one hand some people experience the ‘hidden process’ as frightening or undesirable, and on the other hand there are more and more relatives who see the physical transition, the cremation in the oven, as an essential part of the farewell process. Both attitudes require an ‘approachable’ technology rather than a hidden one. It is all right for technology to be used, but the fact that the committal room, the oven and the operations they involve have to be presentable mean an aestheticizing of the technology is necessary. This book includes several examples of this recent development as well.

1  A detailed report of the early development of cremation technology can be found in P. de Pietra de Santa and M. de Nansouty, La crémation, sa raison d’être, son historique, les appareils actuellement mis en usage pour la réaliser, état de la question en Europe, en Amérique et en Asie (Paris: Publications du journal Génie civil, 1881).  2  Also see ‘The Fire in Our Imagination’ by Laura Cramwinckel 244 ff. 

265


Credits Research: Studio Pekka Authors: Vincent Valentijn, Kim Verhoeven, Studio Pekka Editors: Vincent Valentijn, Jeroen Visschers Copy-editing: InOtherWords, D’Laine Camp Copy-editing interview Zermani: Richard Sadleir Translation Dutch-English: InOtherWords, Maria van Tol & D’Laine Camp Design: Bregt Balk Lithography: PRDigitaal Printing: Epopee Paper: Werkdruk 90 grs, Magno Volume 135 grs Production: Brecht Bleeker Publisher: Marcel Witvoet, nai010 publishers This publication was made possible through the support of the Creative Industries Fund NL, Norsk kremasjonsstiftelse (the Norwegian cremation association), DFW Europe, La Fondation des Services Funéraires - Ville de Paris (SFVP), the European Crematorium Network and Funeral Museum TotZover in Amsterdam.

Thanks To All those who have been involved in research and production through Studio Pekka, in particular Monique Hutschemakers, for her involvement in the initial stages of the project and her contributions to the study; Paula Cores Barral and Valeria Lovato for their all-out efforts and contributions; Ivo Jelinek for his spontaneous assistance and Míša Janečková for her support during the research in the Czech Republic. Bregt Balk for her involvement and contribution which not only concern the design, but also the path we needed to take to realize this book. The members of the focus group, Laura Cramwinckel, Kris Coenegrachts and Tom Olsen, who reviewed work and made critical comments where necessary. The essayists for their contributions and inspiring ideas; the people who share their views by the interviews in this book. The involved architects who have cooperated without exception. All staff and stakeholders associated with the various crematoria that we visited and studied, in particular the people we interviewed.

Norsk kremasjons­stiftelse

DFW Europe is involved in the following projects in this book: Ringsted, Bispebjerg, de Nieuwe Noorder and the Crematorion.

With regard to the projects presented in this book: Baumschulenweg (Karola Eberhart), De Nieuwe Noorder (Dick Devente), Heimolen (Kris Coenegrachts), Uitzicht (Jan Sabbe), Hofheide (Jacquis Roggen), Yarden (Floris Jansen), Waldfriedhof (Jutta Heinze), Fælleskrematoriet (Tom Olsen), Bispebjerg (Jan Larssen), Alfaset (Stein Olav Hohle), Haslum (Naomi Wilde), Vestfold (Ola Asp), Vestre lille kapel (Jørgen Winther Høgstrup), Tempio di Cremazione (Paolo Zermani), Crematorion, Rosenberg (Alex Borer), Medway (Paul Edwards and Alan Hardy), Crownhill (Angela Abbott), Kassel (Jochen Hupfelt), Brno (Zdenêk Kolár), Liebenfels (Andreas Gerber), Nordheim (Cyrill Zimmerman), Viladecans (Alfonso Galdo and Javier Lamata), Rennes Métropole (Marc Huguet), Père-Lachaise (Jean-Paul Rocle), Skogsljus (Linda Gavell). And the crematoria that made an important contribution to the research: crematorium Westerveld (Theo de Natris), crematorium Meerbloemhof, Crematorio di Modena, Crematorio Cimiterio Monumentale (Milan), crematorium Coychurch (Joanna Hamilton), Golders Green crematorium London (Viv Lackey), krematorium Gotha (Torsten Daum), krematorium Tolkewitz, Krematorium Praha

(Dušan Anděl), Fuerhalle Simmering Wien (Peter Janovsky), Urnenhain Urfahr-Krematorium Linz, Crématorium Grenoble (Sébastien Le Mauff, J. Maniaque). Photo Credits - Cover: MaiPlatz fotografie, Berlin - Alfaset: p. 19: [aerial/Areal] photo: kart.1881. no; p. 23 top: Olahå - Baumschulenweg: MaiPlatz fotografie - Bispebjerg: p. 34, p. 35 t.l., p. 37 l.: Torben Eskerod - Crematorion: DigiDaan - Brno: p. 40 l. + p. 41 t.: Barbora Ponešová, Karel Poneš; p. 43: Zoner Studio - Crownhill: p. 50-52, p. 53 t.: Redshift Photography - Fælleskrematoriet: p. 54; p. 56 r.; p. 57 t.; p. 58-59: Anders Sune Berg - Haslum: p. 62 b.l.: Viklepikle; p. 65 t. + b.: Naomi Wilde - Heimolen: p. 66 + p. 71 t.l.: Christian Richters; p. 67: Stijn Bollaert; p. 68 b. + p. 69: Valentine Van der Hauwaert; p. 70: Monique Hutschemakers, p. 71 b.l.: Charles Hueber - Hofheide: p. 77: Amaury Henderick - Kassel: p. 78, p. 80, p. 81 t.: Prof. Dieter Leistner - Liebenfels: p. 83: Hans Rudolf Baumann; p. 85 b.r.: Monique Hutschemakers - Medway: p. 88, 89, 91: Quintin Lake - De Nieuwe Noorder: p. 96, p. 97 b.: Thijs Wolzak - Nordheim: p. 100: Charly Bernasconi - Père-Lachaise: p. 111: Jean-François Gornet - Rennes Métropole: p. 112-114, 115 t., 116-117: Luc Boegly - Rosenberg: 119, 121 t., 122, 123: Georg Aerni - Skogsljus: p. 124 and p. 125: Edward Olencki; p. 128: arto kuorikoski - Tempio di Cremazioni: p. 130-135 Mauro Davoli, p. 134 b.r.: Monique Hutschemakers - Uitzicht: p. 138 r., p. 139, p. 140 t.: Luis Ferreira Alves; p. 140 b.: Beeldbank Kortrijk - Vestfold: p. 144, p. 146, 147 t.: Ivan Brodey - Vestre lille kapel: p. 149: Benny Grey Schuster - Viladecans: p. 155 t., p. 157 t., p. 158: top, b.l., p. 159 t.: Pedro Pegenaute - Waldfriedhof: p. 160-162, p. 163 t.l., b.l., p.164, p.165: Tomas Riehle - schutbladen: Giraud, Pierre, Les tombeaux ou essai sur les sépultures Ouvrage dans lequel l’autuer rappelle l-64, 1794 - p. 253: Beato Angelico, Giudizio universale, Museo nazionale di San Marco, Firenze - p. 264, p. 266: DFW Europe Studio Pekka: all other images

271


© 2018 nai010 publishers, Rotterdam All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. For works of visual artists affiliated with a CISAC-organization the copyrights have been settled with Pictoright in Amsterdam. © 2018, c/o Pictoright Amsterdam Although every effort was made to find the copyright holders for the illustrations used, it has not been possible to trace them all. Interested parties are requested to contact nai010 publishers, Mauritsweg 23, 3012 JR Rotterdam, the Netherlands. nai010 publishers is an internationally orientated publisher specialized in developing, producing and distributing books in the fields of architecture, urbanism, art and design. www.nai010.com nai010 books are available internationally at selected bookstores and from the following distribution partners: North, Central and South America - Artbook | D.A.P., New York, USA, dap@dapinc.com Rest of the world - Idea Books, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, idea@ideabooks.nl For general questions, please contact nai010 publishers directly at sales@nai010.com or visit our website www.nai010.com for further information. © 2018 Studio Pekka Studio Pekka is een in Nederland gevestigde studio voor onderzoek, ontwerp en architectuur onder leiding van oprichters Kim Verhoeven en Vincent Valentijn. Printed and bound in the Netherlands ISBN 978-94-6208-424-7 Goodbye Architecture is also available as an e-book and in Dutch: Goodbye Architecture. The Architecture of Crematoria in Europe e-book (pdf) ISBN 978-94-6208-437-7 Goodbye Architecture. De architectuur van crematoria in Europa ISBN 978-94-6208-423-0 Goodbye Architecture. De architectuur van crematoria in Europa e-boek (pdf) ISBN 978-94-6208-434-6

272


Goodbye Architecture - The Architecture of Crematoria in Europe  

This book offers a wide range of architectural references and starting points for the development of a funerary architecture that is suitabl...

Goodbye Architecture - The Architecture of Crematoria in Europe  

This book offers a wide range of architectural references and starting points for the development of a funerary architecture that is suitabl...

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