'a building for life within death': COM/O designs crematorium staff residence in lisbon

'a building for life within death': COM/O designs crematorium staff residence in lisbon

Casa do Pessoal in Alto de São João cemetery in portugal

 

Architectural studio COM/O atelier reconstructs Casa do Pessoal, a crematorium staff residence hosting workers’ changing rooms and maintenance workshops for the Alto de São João cemetery in Lisbon. The residence stands in site for several decades leading to the poor condition of the conserved construction and the inability to meet the needs of the users and staff. Following a conceptual design that serves the ‘lively’ workdays of people dealing with the presence of death, the creative team draws from bath spatial compositions to form a calming ambiance through the use of minimal volumes and materials. 

'a building for life within death': COM/O designs crematorium staff residence in lisbon
Casa do Pessoal by COM/O atelier | all images by Daniel Malhão

 

 

clear structural rhythm defines the exterior

 

‘It is a building for life within death’, shares the design team commenting on the optimization of the crematorium staff workspace after the renovation plan. The clear structural rhythm of the existing building, a regular metric marked by the windows in the exterior facades, is maintained and reinforced defining the distribution of the interior spaces. While the external surfaces are sustained and repaired when needed, the roof system follows alterations to enhance its functionality and appearance.

 

The interior organizes all service areas and entrances next to the main facades on both sides of the building, while the more intimate zones are assembled at the center of the structure. The changing rooms and staff service area are relocated to the first floor achieving easy access from the highest street level, whereas the workshop and warehouse stand on the ground floor in contact with the lowest street level. The expanded roof level hosts a third floor arranging a staff service area, a small kitchen, and a common zone that extends to an outdoor terrace overlooking the river Tagus.

'a building for life within death': COM/O designs crematorium staff residence in lisbon

 

 

semi-translucent glass openings conjoin the interior zones

 

A central box-like formation organizes the changing rooms that stay detached from the external facades allowing the unbothered circulation around it. The private zone is transposed to the configuration of the new volume on the third floor. The new interventions and modifications both internal and external are covered with white tiles to distinguish them from the original structure. Echoing the steam atmosphere of bath spaces, the interior assembles semi-translucent and transparent glass doors and windows throughout. Both natural light distribution, and visual contact with the exterior are achieved through the glazed openings, while a skylight made of blue glass crosses the entire building vertically resembling the stained glass windows in most of the tombs in the cemetery.

'a building for life within death': COM/O designs crematorium staff residence in lisbon

casa-do-pessoal-designboom-1800-2

'a building for life within death': COM/O designs crematorium staff residence in lisbon

'a building for life within death': COM/O designs crematorium staff residence in lisbon
white tiles cover the surfaces of ‘casa do pessoal’ accentuating its minimal volumes

casa-do-pessoal-designboom-1800-3

'a building for life within death': COM/O designs crematorium staff residence in lisbon
a small kitchen and common zone extend to an outdoor terrace overlooking the river Tagus

'a building for life within death': COM/O designs crematorium staff residence in lisbon
both internal and external modifications are covered with white tiles to distinguish from the original structure

'a building for life within death': COM/O designs crematorium staff residence in lisbon
blue glass opening resembles the stained glass windows in most of the tombs in the cemetery

 

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reconstruction process - Casa do Pessoal
reconstruction process - Casa do Pessoal
ground floor - Casa do Pessoal
ground floor - Casa do Pessoal
first floor - Casa do Pessoal
first floor - Casa do Pessoal
second floor - Casa do Pessoal
second floor - Casa do Pessoal
section - Casa do Pessoal
section - Casa do Pessoal

project info:

 

name: Casa do Pessoal
designer: COM/O atelier | @como__atelier

design team: Joana Duarte | @joana_sduarte – Miguel Duarte | @miguelsantosduarte

location: Lisbon, Portugal

photography: Daniel Malhão | @danielmalhao

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: christina vergopoulou | designboom

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