place: Ferrara, Italy
client: Municipality of Ferrara
team: Remko Remijnse, Rocco Reukema, Isabel Rivas, Fabiana Toni, Raffaella Avesani, Azzurra Carli, Javier Urenha, Adela Lorenzo
In Italy’s past it was normal to keep the dead in their own home until the funeral. In modern society this is often not possible anymore which results into a growing demand for funeral centers. The municipality of Ferrara intents to realize a funeral centre within the historical city boundaries.
Our proposal contains an underground building where the dead people are brought, a square on ground level that functions as the entrance that connects the public domain and lifted above this square an abstract volume that functions as a ceremonial space. The design concept is based on the metaphor: death = underground, living = public domain, farewell = floating volume and the journey to the afterlife = water.
The dead are placed underground and the visitors can reach them through an underground patio with a quiet and serene atmosphere. The commemoration space is a huge box floating above the public square. The box lets daylight in by small holes in the facade and roof, creating an interesting atmosphere of light and shadows. The route begins and ends on the public square underneath the floating box and the visitor integrates again in daily life.
The design gives a unique spiritual experience to the farewell ceremony of the deceased and a gives Ferrara a special public building.