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Archiprix 2020

Death and Life in Architecture

This project is part of Archiprix 2020

This project explores the concept of death in today’s world and in Belgium in particular. The research component was part of a graduation studio that examined new architectural expressions and qualities using 3D-printed concrete.

Architecture influences and shapes our behaviour as well as our everyday life. This led me to explore ways in which architecture can help us deal with one of the most emotional moments in life, namely death. Out of this study came my design for a funeral complex. It addresses the issue of how architecture can help us when confronted with death.
Funeral architecture needs redefining as a result of changes in society. This typology is dedicated to respecting the feelings of those for whom it was primarily meant, namely the deceased and their loved ones.
The design constructs spaces that stir the emotions while safeguarding the logistics and regulations attendant on a crematorium to ensure privacy and safety during the grieving process. Emotion and logistics are two aspects of our discipline that shape the way we design.
The urban context gives the building an active role in its setting. It is inviting, in that the traditional massive volume has been broken up, but without denying the private aspect of a crematorium.
Light is moulded and filtered as a ghost material. It leads mourners and staff through the building and suggests moments of attention, reflection or movement.