Crematorium Heimolen

Location
Heimolen, Sint-Niklaas, BE
Client
Intercommunale Westlede
Initiated
2005
Completion
2008
Size
3.187 sqm
Project Team, Photos & Collaborators
David Hess, Kees Kaan, Hannes Ochmann, Vincent Panhuysen, Dikkie Scipio, Luuk Stoltenborg, Yaron Tam, Hagar Zur

Photos
Stijn Bollaert, Sebastian van Damme, Christian Richters

The ensemble for the crematorium in Sint-Niklaas has been divided into two buildings: a ceremonial and a technical one (the crematorium proper). The two buildings have the same footprint area but are showing two different programs with inverted design solutions. The technical building is a volume on a clean platform, the reception building is a roof wrapping and embedding public functions.
Emptiness, space and clarity predominate in the ceremonial building. A large window offers a contemplative view of the cemetery and landscape, the floor-to-ceiling doors give the room a dramatic quality, and the perforation of the ceiling with round lights reinforces the solemn atmosphere. The use of natural stone and wood enables concentration and ease of thoughts.
The actual crematorium building owes its character to the fa├žade composed of concrete cassette tiles, with a sprawl of sun light dots that show it as a beauty box without giving away its content.