amazing Gävle crematorium

Last week we were visiting the crematorium in Gävle Sweden.

We were very kindly received by Linda Gavell whom is in charge of the daily operations. It was very interesting to hear how this crematorium was once conceived by a group of recently graduated architects, it is almost unimaginable since the building looks and feels like the culmination of an oeuvre.
The unusual layout works like a charm an though the building is rather large and open to its surroundings, it feels simple, warm and intimate at all times.

A visit well worth wild.

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.

Coychurch crematorium


In Coychurch we met with Joanna Hamilton who explained how they have managed to keep the ‘monumental’ crematorium, built in 1970, up to modern standards. Careful planning and a strong vision has clearly payed off here.

The crematorium is a great example of British modernism – stone walls, flat roofs, free “organic” plans following the contours of the site and a distinct Scandinavian accent (this is clearest in the small chapel).

It was the last design of modernist architect Maxwell Fry who worked with Walter Gropius before the war. There is a clear and present manneristic vision at the root of this design, it is like the funeral process translated into architecture. The essence of experiencing a funeral is transposed into mass, space and tactile experience. This remarcable architecture was made complete with stained glass from the famous Swansea School of Art and this tradition is carried on with subtile additions being made in the present.

Medway crematorium


We were very pleasantly welcomed at our first UK crematorium at Medway. We would specially like to thank mr. Alan Hardy and Paul Edwards for the interesting interviews and generous tour of the building.

The crematorium, which is in use since 1959, was designed by Sir Dawber, Fox and Robinson and sits in a circular infrastructure. In 2011 plans were made for to add mercury abatement and extensions to the chapels. The X-plan, the style of the old building and restraints of the site called for an inventive architecture, this was delivered by CLAY architecture.

The new extensions keep the symmetry of the original design. Setting them to the side of the chapels avoided removing trees and cremated remains, also this plan managed to and sightlines within the extension to the apse and pulpit. Choosing to supplement the crematorium with a modern volume seems to have worked quite well since the design has been awarded the regional RIBA award