Cremation is an important element for different cultures all over the world.
In India, Hindus usually have a ceremony with cremation of the death. The same applies to Buddhists.
Jews think different. Thea are used to bury their death in earth. And the Christians: Until 1963 the Vatikan postulated that only villains can be cremated. The others will not get a funeral ceremony of the church.
But the public pressure to allow cremation has been risen:
- The requirement for more hygienic environment to avoid epidemics. Only think about Virchow and his exceptional activities.
- Filled cemeteries wherever you have been.
Vincent Valentijn and Kim Verhoeven demonstrate in their book “Goodby Architecture” a good overview of the changing development of cremation in Europe with the beginning in the early 20th century. The numbers are based on the international cremation statistics of the ‘Cremations Society of Great Britain’ of 2016.
Figure: Cremation Development,
Vincent Valentijn, Kim Verhoeven, Goodby Architecture, 2018, Rotterdam,Page 11, nai010 publishers, ISBN 978-94-6208-424-7
Different Approach of Cremation – Center
A common understanding for these places is to communicate peace and dignity.
If we are looking a bit more into deep, the setup and design of crematory spread over Europe follow very different and sometimes controversial intentions:
There are ideas of:
- Strict separation of rituals and and the logistics versus using the oven space for last farewell
- Demonstrating the and light of the sky getting into entrance and ceremony rooms against the heaviness of earth
- Integration of the building into the landscape form and local background using the given materials
- Getting an impression of a translucent building
- Kind of monumental impression for the ceremony versus a simple lightness
- Integration of the cremation center into a cemetery versus a strict separation
- Modern integration of catering and/or ecclesiastical ceremony.
I demonstrate some of the examples in separate posts. Please follow the category “Architecture”