juan carlos salas' tanatorium filters sunlight through concrete chimney
juan carlos salas' tanatorium filters sunlight through concrete chimney
oct 07, 2015

juan carlos salas' tanatorium filters sunlight through concrete chimney

juan carlos salas’ tanatorium filters sunlight through concrete chimney
photography by diaporama




funneling a concentrated stream of light into the otherwise minimal and concrete interior, the ‘tanatorium’ by juan carlos salas is a building ‘formed by a perforated enveloping is born from earth to protect humans when they say goodbye to their deceased people’. sited by a pine woodland in the outskirts of zaragoza, spain, the concrete entity features a light-well installed with metal louvers allowing sunlight to subtly filter inside.

the tanatorium (a morgue) is a peaceful space for relatives to say goodbye to the deceased




the building is purposely orientated to open-up in diagonal direction to the sun, the chimney channels an atmosphere which visually evokes the feeling of time passing– a poetic feature which at the same time,encourages a movement in light and shadow created by the louver’s pattern. constructed of white concrete and embellished with details such as galvanized and pre-laquered corten, the building is accessed through the west side at the end of the pedestrian path and leads into the south-facing hall space which diverts into the funeral parlors and services. 

the materiality of the building is white concrete, finished in several superficial treatments

the metallic louvers draws sunlight inside projecting outlines and references the feeling of time passing

the large light well in the ceiling has been installed with metal louvers

the funeral parlor and other services branch off from the main hall

interior room

the entrance is based on the west at the end of a pedestrian path coming from the urban area

the building is sited by a forest of pine trees

the concrete cavern opens in diagonal direction to the sun, ‘worshiping the primitive god’

the tanatorium/morgue at night




project info:


architect: juan carlos salas
designer: david leciñena
building engineers: javier muñoz, sergio calle
structural engineer: jose miguel escosa
graphic design: bogart y bacall
project manager: ignacio villalba
general contractor: solceq
area: 196 m2
cost: 230.838,02 €

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