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Mortuary Hall

In Erlenbach Mortuary Hall we divided the spaces required by the schedule of accommodation into two interventions. A space-containing wall runs parallel to Seestrasse and accommodates the utilitarian functions involved in maintaining a cemetery. The mortuary proper is, in contrast, a freestanding building in the cemetery. It turns towards the lake and, together with the wall, sets up an entrance and deliveries area.

The mortuary consists of several individual buildings that lean against each other. An architecture is created in which the individual elements both refer to and determine each other. The interior world communicates with outside space through the joints between the volumes.

The path taken by the mourners leads from the roofed forecourt, which opens towards the lake at one short end, across the enclosed visitors room to the intimate and self-composed space where the body of the deceased person is laid out. The buildings are simple and shaped as monoliths. Internally the spatial volumes made of insulated concrete grow nobler in stages, the materials and the spatial mood become warmer and more intimate. Restrained furnishings as well as the complete absence of religious references makes the spaces appear both pure and clear.

Model photographs: © Roger Frei, Zurich

Index: 114 FRE
Date: Competition 2007

Team EM2N
Partners: Mathias Müller, Daniel Niggli · Project team: Rubén Daluz, Dirk Giessmann

Erlenbach, Switzerland

Competition, 2nd prize

Municipality of Erlenbach



Changing rooms, Covered vestibules, Funural rooms, Mortuary halls, Sanitary rooms, Storage spaces

213 m²