14/12 2012

Crematorium Aalst wins the open competition

The winner proposal of the Belgian open call is presented by Vincent Panhuysen, a crematorium that is to be built in the marshy pastures of Aalst, Oost Vlaanderen, mid-way between Brussels and Gent in Belgium.

The serene scenery sets a quiet and calming background for the intense and retrospective moment of cremation. This serenity has been carefully transposed into the ostensibly modest design that puts emphasis on natural light and varying textures in which neutral and intelligible spaces are organized to comfort guests of varying cultures.
The cohesive relationship between the building and the nature surrounding it is essential. Interior spaces are strategically orientated within the landscape to create enclosed patios blurring the distinction between interior and exterior. The seamless relationship between the building and the environment alleviates the threshold from impending solemnity.

“We wanted the design to fold around the landscape, that its calm appeases right to the core of the building” explains Vincent Panhuysen, partner and project leader.
The clear structure is key to the design. Distinct paths for the public, the staff and the expedition are crucial as the three should not cross. The linear and rhythmic plan alternating patios, open courtyards and glass walls is softened in the curved ceiling of the chapel, bringing warmth and intimacy.

The social, environmental and economic factors are balanced through the integrated ecology of the project. Sustainability is the backbone of the design, through carefully thought out orientation, the use of renewable and low carbon impact materials, state of the art heat recovery systems, zero-energy consumption is achieved.

For more images check our KAAN work section: Crematorium Aalst.