Amsterdam-based architecture office HofmanDujardin has released images for a new Funeral Ceremony Centre that interprets the ways we say goodbye to our loved ones.
Inspired by their personal experiences, the new Funeral Ceremony Centre aims to give the deceased a beautiful farewell celebrating their life. The 1,600-square-metre space is layered by three rooms offering different functions for the family’s meetings, which connect timeless values of our existence to our modern ways of life.
Sitting on a rectangular plan, the rooms are arranged with curvilinear walls that allow visitors explore the building in a fluid form. The front façade of the building is designed as a completely transparent façade in a green environment, which makes the ceremony visible from everywhere.
“Contemporary funerals can be seen as a memorial of the life of the deceased. However, being less ceremonial than in the past, a clear sequence of moments characterises these meetings,” said the firm.
“The first moment is the gathering of friends and family, the actual ceremony of remembrance forms the second, followed by a third moment of social encounter. HofmanDujardin translates this in a series of three carefully shaped rooms around an epicentre: the place for the coffin.”
“The lack of places for worthy send offs results in unease feelings during crucial moments in our lives. Naturally following our design philosophy Shaping Intuition®, focusing on the intuitive values of human beings, we designed a Funeral Centre which tries to break this discomfort. The design combines timeless qualities with elements of our modern ways of life,” said Michiel Hofman, one of founding partners of HofmanDujardin.
First room is a place to gather relatives, friends and known associates and it is enclosed by a memory wall. The wall is designed as a multimedia screen, on which family and friends can share videos and photographs of moments with their loved one, forms a lively collage celebrating their life.
The images form a background to the silence and might be translated in a downloadable video clip. The wall allows to create a sublime, shared moment of collectively reliving stories.
A space is arranged for the actual remembrance ceremony that defines the shape of the three rooms. Its triangular shape creates intimacy in both small and bigger groups.
The two curved walls and the ceiling bend inwards to define a passage as the centre for the coffin. Behind, an expansive empty space opens towards a panorama of the surroundings. The shape implies a flow back towards nature, closing the circle of life.
A third space is designed to offer the opportunity to enhance social relations after the ceremony. The timber clad walls and floor create a warm and comfortable atmosphere. The neutral round serving tables make the room suitable for formal and informal events.
“The way we say good bye to our loved ones is a very personal decision. We designed a Funeral Centre which is specifically suitable for its function, and at the same time leaves room for interpretation. We think that sad moments in our life should be beautiful at the same time,” said Barbara Dujardin, founding partner of HofmanDujardin.