Francisco MANGADO

Krematorium of Thun - Schoren+



1.800 m2

The building is a continuation of the cemetery, and the cemetery floor plan structure is what gives us the idea for the crematorium’s basic layout in clear-cut blocks connected by circulation spaces and courtyards. The blocks of the crematorium have to do with the layout of the cemetery. This structure of isolated surfaces also helps us formalize the enlargement of the possible infrastructural addition to the cemetery. Some walls organize the relationship between the cemetery and the crematorium, generating a rich continuity and connectivity between them.

The crematorium must be inspired in the following principles/concepts:

–Symbolic power: a place for the body’s final moments in this world

–Silence and reflection: spaces conducive to contemplation

–Unnoticeable efficiency

We believe it very important to give the crematorium building a representative entrance, simple but expressive of the dignity of what happens inside. One enters through a colonnade and its grand door, and into the courtyard opening up to the sky outside, and finally the waiting place inside, all arranged along a continuous longitudinal axis.

The building functions with extraordinary clarity, differentiating the staff entrances and facilities from the areas used by mourners and visitors. This has been achieved, on the one hand, through a careful study of the arrival and parking of cars, and on the other hand through an analysis of staff movements, all with the aim of ensuring total separation of visitor and personnel circulations.

An element of utmost importance is light. It is the manipulation of light that can give the crematorium space that special atmosphere of intimacy and silence.

Strättligenstrasse 17, 3645 Gwatt (Thun), Switzerland