No one knows where the final road will lead any of us, but Shultes Frank Architeckten want that road to be as glorified; as silent; as peaceful and as still as the imagination of angel-hood can be. The Crematorium Baumschulenweg, designed and built in Berlin, Germany, is a place inspired by the ancient tombs – built from stone and in all areas, excessively flowing with a lot of daylight. It’s a tranquil place. A resting place for the dead is something difficult to design for, because in spirit, you have no idea what it feels like to die. And yet, Shultes Frank Architeckten have attempted to imagine it … a poetic place for those who depart from us.
With a firm belief on the eternal, the crematorium features two small halls accommodating 50 people, and one large space for 250 people. The spaces are generally small boxes inside a big one that interplays with the concept of addition and subtraction of volumes to create an interesting form.
The spaces within are awash with daylight, as if to recreate the coffin when it gets into the fire – in one moment there is a lot of light, and those who depart from us are completely gone.
The architect envisions the place the departed go to. It appears like heaven with lots of clouds and trees with a realm of light hence the spread out vegetation closer to the slat-steered casing of glass that brings in light. The building is a non-jointed 50 by 70-metre block that goes 10 metres deep into earth and 10 metres above it.
The building is consistent on the materials which feature grave stone, and just one other color to create contrast: blue. Blue is calm. It’s a color capable of comforting the grieved ones, while at the same time peacefully sending the departed on their way. It’s a building that glorifies the nature of death, with silent walls in light.
Architects: Shultes Frank Architeckten
Location: Berlin, Germany
Architect in Charge: Axel Schultes Architekten, Frank Schultes Witt
Design: Axel Schultes, Charlotte Frank
Structural Engineers: GSE Saar Enseleit und Partner Berlin IDL Berlin
Acoustics: Akustik Ingenieurbüro Moll GmbH Berlin
Area: 9,340 sq.m
Photography: Mattias Hamrén