the impressive Nordheim krematorium


The crematorium in Zurich truely impressed us. The ceremonial spaces are sacral and spiritual without being religious. At the same time the rest of the building has a very human scale where anyone would feel very welcome.

The former city-architect of Zurich, mr. Steiner really created a monumental example of cremation architecture.

Linz drive-by crematorium


Unfortunately the people of the crematorium in Linz were not able to receive us but since we were ‘in the neigbourhood’ we made a short visit to the building as we passed by.
The monumental modern building is situated on the site of a very nice graveyard and it has a very clear layout. We had a good impresssion before we moved on to Zurich.

Modernity at the Brněnské krematorium


Together with our Czech connection Michaele we were kindly received by mr. Zdenek Kolar and representative of PamArch who have added a new office building to this modern monument.

It was interesting to see how up-to-date this crematorium, originally designed by Ernst Wiesner still is. Its characteristic needle-pointed pillars and the glass roof still give this building a unique esthetic.

We were enthousiastic to see that the addition made was very much in sync with both the building as its modern intent.

Largest crematorium in Europe


Today we visited Krematorium Strašnice, it is the largest crematorium in Europe in terms of the area it covers. This time we were accompanied by our Czech connection Michaele (with many Thanks to Ivo Jelinek for connecting us) who helped us out with some interpreting and her pleasant interest.

We were kindly received by the manager mr. Anděl who showed us the building and its dayly workings. This crematorium is truely impressive. Although the crematorium breathes monumentality this is pleasantly countercted by the social way the people of Prague have integrated it in everyday life.

Maybe later at Tolkewitz


It was a particulary nice day for making some great photos in Dresden. We had tried to get into contact with the right people at Tolkewitz but due to vacations and some burocratic disturbance we were not able make an official visit. It was a bit disappointing, also to the people we met at the crematorium who were very interested in our project and eager to coöperate. Maybe at a later time ..

We were here since next to the old monumental crematorium a modern addition was built (right behind the trees on the right side of this picture). If you google it you will find some pictures, also from the interior (we wonder..). although we were just visiting a ‘tourists’ now it was quite interesting. If this crematorium ends up in our final selection we might take the efford to try and visit it officially at some point.

Cremation history in Gotha


Another crematorium with a rich history, the Gotha crematorium is the oldest one in Germany and dates from 1878. Although not many cremations took place in the first years, this grew over the years since people were brought from all over Germany to be cremated here.

The columbarium  (in the middle section) is an intergarated part of the building, connecting the morgue building and the ceremonal building. The actual crematorium is located underneath the ceremonial building (on the right with chimney on the image).

The ashes of historic figures like Bertha von Suttner (Nobel price for peace for her effords in womens emancipation) are kept here.

First summertour visit in Kassel

Kassel krematorium

The manager Jochen Hupfeld received us to view the Krematorium Kassel. He had also brought a friend who was interested in seeing the crematorium and, as a special bonus to us, was so kind to interpret from English to German and back.

The crematorium is an autonomous modern building right next to the older chapel. Surprising to us was the fact that entering the crematorium you are at once in the cremation-room which can also be used for a small ceremony on request. The crematorium and the other facilities on the site like the chapel and morgue are connected on subterranean level.

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