KAAN architecten's crematorium siesegem in belgium is a peaceful oasis for reminiscence
 

KAAN architecten's crematorium siesegem in belgium is a peaceful oasis for reminiscence

located on the outskirts of aalst, belgium, and captured by simone bossi, the crematorium siesegem by KAAN architecten is a building with a comforting sequence of spaces in symbiotic relationship to its tranquil surroundings. the project, which was an entry for an international competition in 2012, has a 74 x 74 metre footprint that merges with trees and shrubs that line the perimeter of the surrounding park conceived by landscape architect erik dhont.

KAAN architecten's crematorium siesegem in belgium is a peaceful oasis for reminiscence designboom
all images © simone bossi

 

 

upon arrival, the crematorium siesegem by KAAN architecten exudes a sense of calm that permeates the site, subtly pursuing visitors to slow down by the undulating gentle green mounds. to the north, a pond serves as a reservoir for rainwater while small adjacent hills are dedicated to scattered ashes and to an urn garden. at the eastern end, there is a service road for the hearses that is entirely hidden from view so that the families are not disturbed during the mourning ceremony.

KAAN architecten's crematorium siesegem in belgium is a peaceful oasis for reminiscence designboom

 

 

the design by KAAN architecten aims to accompany the transition from a busy outside world into a metaphorical and physical interior imbued with calm and restraint. with a building that is self-explanatory and that feels natural to use, the sequence of spaces shapes the visitor’s physical experience, preventing spatial confusion.

KAAN architecten's crematorium siesegem in belgium is a peaceful oasis for reminiscence designboom

 

 

measuring 6.4 meters tall, the floor-to-ceiling height of the interior enhances the sense of vastness, paired with the warm abundance of daylight. a concrete canopy stretches into a generously proportioned hall from which the reception desk is visible. the reception hall is permeated with light that makes it way through two large windows that overlook a landscaped garden and houses a passageway to the cafeteria which features artworks by belgian artist rinus van de velde.

KAAN architecten's crematorium siesegem in belgium is a peaceful oasis for reminiscence designboom

 

 

with two ceremonial assembly halls, the crematorium siesegem encompasses generous dimensions with the largest one able to seat 600 people. an outdoor area with greenery links nature to daylight and offers a counterweight to the intensity and spirituality experienced by the bereaved. the technical aspects of the structure were also very important, where the architects decided to disclose the cremation process. they created an unusual yet effective polarity between the mechanics and the serenity, where the soft and sandy color of the furniture is translated into the oven and the chimney that stretches up through a glazed opening in the roof.

KAAN architecten's crematorium siesegem in belgium is a peaceful oasis for reminiscence designboom

 

 

the crematorium siesegem by KAAN Architecten is an ode to verticality while being horizontal and pure in its geometry and balanced proportions. its calm, easily readable environment and tranquil landscape merge together to emanate a genuine serenity. without succumbing to monumentalism, the building and its surrounding grounds are a peaceful oasis for reminiscence.

KAAN architecten's crematorium siesegem in belgium is a peaceful oasis for reminiscence designboom

KAAN architecten's crematorium siesegem in belgium is a peaceful oasis for reminiscence designboom

KAAN architecten's crematorium siesegem in belgium is a peaceful oasis for reminiscence designboom

KAAN architecten's crematorium siesegem in belgium is a peaceful oasis for reminiscence designboom

KAAN architecten's crematorium siesegem in belgium is a peaceful oasis for reminiscence designboom

KAAN architecten's crematorium siesegem in belgium is a peaceful oasis for reminiscence designboom

KAAN architecten's crematorium siesegem in belgium is a peaceful oasis for reminiscence designboom

KAAN architecten's crematorium siesegem in belgium is a peaceful oasis for reminiscence designboom

KAAN architecten's crematorium siesegem in belgium is a peaceful oasis for reminiscence designboom

 

 

project info:

 

location: merestraat 169, aalst (belgium)
architect: KAAN architecten (kees kaan, vincent panhuysen, dikkie scipio)
project team: bas barendse, dante borgo, maicol cardelli, timo cardol, sebastian van damme, paolo faleschini, raluca firicel, cristina gonzalo cuairán, michael geensen, walter hoogerwerf, marco lanna, giuseppe mazzaglia, exequiel mulder, ismael planelles naya, giulia rapizza, ana rivero esteban, giacomo rizzi
client: intergemeentelijke samenwerking westlede (IGS)
program: crematorium, auditoriums, restaurant, family rooms, condoleances rooms
design phase: june 2013 – sept 2014
construction phase: april 2016 – september 2018
landscape: january 2019
GFA: 5.000 sqm
contractor: jan de nul, hofstade-aalst (belgium)
advisor construction: pieters bouwtechniek, delft (netherlands)
project management: KAAN architecten, rotterdam; bureau bouwtechniek, antwerp (belgium)
water, electrical, installations and supervision: henk pijpaert engineering, oudenaarde (belgium)
acoustics, climate, physics: DGMR, arnhem (netherlands)
ovens: DFW, broek op langedijk (netherlands)
multimedia: BIS, ridderkerk (netherlands)
landscape: erik dhont, brussels (belgium)
furniture: bulvano, mechelen (belgium)
wooden benches: luxor interieur, meldegem (belgium)
fixed furniture: bekaert building company – BBC, waregem (belgium)
exposition furniture: meyvaert, gent (belgium)
stone supply and furniture: marble’us, tirana (albania)
photography: simone bossi; sebastian van damme
art: rinus van de velde

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