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Communal Crematorium in Ringsted by Henning Larsen

A simple composition of volumes belies a revolutionary inversion of typological convention

Read the Crematorium typology here

This extraordinary building by Henning Larsen seems, at first sight, to be a simple, somewhat bracingly sober composition of rectilinear brick volumes. The truly exceptional character of the structure only becomes apparent in the plan: rather than focusing on a dominant ceremonial space, the centre of this building is the cremation facility. Mourners pay their final respects in a small antechamber before watching – if they wish – from a glazed corridor as the coffin is inserted into one of six furnaces. The architects state that this decision was partly motivated by concern for the crematorium staff, who are provided with a light and airy space for their work, with an undulating, 12m-high roof; this claim, though justified, rather underplays the revolutionary inversion of typological convention.

Henning larsen floor plan

Henning larsen floor plan

Floor plan - click to expand

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