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Crematorium Heimolen in Sint-Niklaas by KAAN Architecten

1 crematorium heimolen kaan architecten ©stijn bollaert

Ceremony and cremation are divided by a choreographed succession of spaces

Read the Crematorium typology here

One solution to the problem of moving the coffin between the room in which the funeral ceremony is held and the cremation facility itself is to sever these two functions entirely, as KAAN Architecten has done in its project at Sint-Niklaas. Here the two structures are symbolically separated by a lake, and while the ceremonial building is open to the landscape, the smaller crematorium building is almost entirely enclosed, with only narrow apertures cut into the upper reaches of its coffered concrete skin.

The route through the ceremonial building passes through a carefully choreographed succession of spaces: it is accessed beneath the looming roof, which hovers above the ground at one end and provides sheltered seating. Mourners then enter an antechamber with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the garden, and from there they move into the main room. This has no windows, being illuminated instead by circular ceiling lights and, at the end, the catafalque stands before a dark marble screen, which forms an emphatic full stop.

Kaan architecten floor plans

Kaan architecten floor plans

Floor plans - click to expand

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