comforting architecture

With a farewell, a cremation or burial, the sequence of rituals is important for comfort and remembrance. In recent years, some beautiful auditoriums and crematoria which accommodate those rituals were realised in the Netherlands. They offer peace and make introspection possible,  but they are also spatially exciting.




source: article p.26/31 ArchitectuurNL 4/14

Architecture of Ashes visits the Duisburg Crematorium

Last week we visited the crematorium of Duisburg in Germany with an exceptional team this time, one member from Switzerland and one from the Netherlands. We were shown around by the architect Jutta Heinze and the interview with her was very interesting. Again it was intriguing to notice the differences between the cremation cultures in Europe. There even was a bit of CSI this time around.

The Duisburg crematory was constructed around an existing older crematorium. The marriage between the old and the new is very effective. During our visit the outdoor ceiling was missing. It had recently suffered quite some water damage and we hope this will be restored soon. Luckily for us the building was never the less a pleasure to see!

Crematorium at industrial area Maastricht

[youtube_sc url=”7C_vt4a9aU0″ class=”alignleft” width=”530″ height=”350″]

A video about the ambitious vision of a Dutch life insurance company to create the most ‘sustainable’ crematorium in the world in a former limestone quarry.

source: MonutaNL


Live in a funeral home!


“Tootje, living in a funeral home” is the story of an outsider who penetrates into the world of the funeral.
Lieke Northman is a coffee lady in a funeral home. Gradually she discovers the wonderful world of the funeral business: look with red socks, receptionists with plunging necklines and the secrets of the discard basement. She meets survivors in all shapes and sizes, and discovers that grief takes many forms.

New crematorium Hofheide in Holsbeek


Yesterday we were visiting crematorium Hofheide in Holsbeek, Belgium. The director Jaques Roggen was very kind to take time to answer our questions and show us around. They are still very busy since the crematorium is brand new. We had payed a short visited berfore during the overcrowded public opening but our impression was quite different now. This time we could experience the building as it was intended: in quiet.

We were very impressed by the interior. The plan was clean and simple, the spaces had beautiful daylight, the materials were monumental but still had warmth and clearly the architects have put a lot of attention into the details, even in places where the general public will never visit. A truely spiritual experience.