Modern Mausoleums


04 Monday 04th July 2011

If you’re outdoorsy perhaps you’ll like this one by Pedro Dias (title image) set against the Açor Mountains in Portugal. This minimalist family tomb has the capacity for eight coffins and integrates itself into not only the cemetery but also the surrounding landscape by literally framing it, in order to provide space for loved ones to sit and remember those who have passed.   

Family Tomb by Pedro Dias

Next we have this modest family chapel built in Padova, Italy by EXiT archetti associati. With its simple lines and textures this makes for not only a comfortable place for the deceased to rest but also for loved ones to come and visit. Built with that in mind the architects designed it so the burial niches would lay flat with the walls and had the ceiling set with soft, changeable lighting.

Family Chapel by EXiT archetti associati

Lighted ceiling of Family Chapel by EXiT archetti associati

For those with a bigger budget, the Panteón Nube by Spanish architects, Clavel Arquitectos, is a stunning example of how mausoleum’s don’t always need to be dark and oppressive with the translucent rear wall of onyx radiating light into the structure. The zig-zagging doors of this particular crypt can only be opened in a certain way, giving it that air of secrecy that tombs are always laced with. The architects say this mausoleum acts as the transition between life and the mystery of death that follows, not a bad place to do it really.

Panteón Nube mausoleum by Clavel Arquitectos

Onyx wall and marble staircase of Panteón Nube mausoleum by Clavel Arquitectos

This next mausoleum looks like something you’d find in a sci-fi movie rather than a place of rest and remembrance, but the Sunset Chapel in Acapulco, Mexico is just that. Built by BNKR Arquitectura, this angular boulder-shaped structure looks as though it is merely balancing on the rocky terrain of the hillside. With it’s muddy, neutral tones the building both blends in and smack you in the face with its presence. Concrete pews facing a glazed wall provide the perfect outlook, along with slits in the walls to add even more light.

Sunset Chapel mausoleum by BNKR Arquitectura

Interior of Sunset Chapel mausoleum by BNKR Arquitectura

If burial isn’t your thing, crematoriums are also having a Grand Design’s moment. Take the Rennes Métropole Crematorium in France by Plan01 Architects. Featuring a series of circular buildings surrounded by a ring of granite blocks, this crematorium means you can goodbye in style, and with dignity as the architects have made every effort to improve the cremation process in its design. The loose, meandering landscape created removes any clinical or impersonal feelings and alludes to the life-cycle of nature.

Rennes Métropole Crematorium by Plan01 Architects

Rennes Métropole Crematorium by Plan01 Architects

Lastly, Baumschulenweg Crematorium in Berlin is an impressive space that offers more than just a place to be cremated. Built by architects, Axel Schultes and Charlotte Frank in the late 90s it still stands as one of the city’s most exceptional contemporary buildings. The grey unbroken façade and clean lines creates a simple silhouette, whereas internally 29 concrete supports sprout from the ground at irregular intervals to give the large space some structure. If beautiful architecture isn’t enough, as one of the locations for the 2005 ‘hit’, Aeon Flux, it can also be a last claim to fame before you bid farewell.   

Baumschulenweg Crematorium by Axel Schultes and Charlotte Frank

Interior of Baumschulenweg Crematorium by Axel Schultes and Charlotte Frank

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