Waldfriedhof Heidenheim / Sanierung Aussegnungshalle und Aufbahrungsgebäude
best architects 18
Heidenheim / Germany
Built in 1957 by Ludwig Gruber, the funeral chapel with hall is part of the woodland cemetery complex and was preserved in its original state. The outward appearance of the building is still appropriate to its urban setting, blending in with the landscaping to create an identity-lending focal point on the townscape. A few significant architectural interventions have now given the interior a new look and feel: the creation of an open atrium to close off the space to the east, a tectonic reinterpretation of the building components that define the space as well as specially designed furniture. Forming the basis is a floor of regional, creamy white banded Jurassic limestone. Solid silver fir planks line the walls. The sculptural articulation of the wall geometries is derived from the building’s support grid and the existing windows. The pale softwood envelops mourners in a tranquil ambience that addresses the senses. A ceiling of slanting folded elements directs attention towards the new courtyard. The interplay between its varied functions as structural support, load-bearing element and wall opening with integrated indirect lighting creates an acoustically effective upper skin that becomes an integral part of the overall spatial geometry. The funeral chapel has thus become a more nuanced space that is perceived differently depending on the viewpoint, angle and fall of light.