Cemetery Building Erlenbach. The situation of the new cemetery building constructionally brackets the grounds of the cemetery directly on the Lake of Zurich and the parallel lie of the church, placing the two buildings in dialogue with each other and spanning the graveyards between them. As opposed to the church, the functionally hybrid building is conceived as a pavilion to serve the secluded, intimate atmosphere of a cemetery. All of the uses are combined in a free form under a massive roof. Situated in the center are the rooms of the funeral parlor, which are accessed via a glazed corridor facing the cemetery. The green, mostly opaque panes provide a visual barrier, and the space forms an important interim area in which to prepare for the encounter with the deceased. The walnut paneling and the natural zenithal lighting give the funeral parlor an appropriate dignity, but also a warmth and comfort. The introversion of the spaces provides the silence for mourning and to take leave of the deceased. The visitors’ room and the covered exterior space are orientated towards the most beautiful point overlooking the lake, and where small ceremonies can be held. Two perforated, ornamental concrete wall elements in the covered outside area create a protective but simultaneously solemn atmosphere. The archaic concrete construction contrasts pleasurably with the lightness of the glass façade, creating an abstract symbolism. The coloring of the panes of the façade in various tones of green and brown makes the pavilion part of the natural surroundings and is tied to a long tradition of applying colored glass in the sacred buildings of different cultures. The architectural expression of the building is intended to help the mourners in coming to terms with the exceptional circumstances in which they find themselves, and to provide a dignified and contemporary setting for the mourning rituals of all confessions.

Competition: AFGH, Barbara Schaub, Carlo Fumarola
Project leader: Regula Zwicky, Photos: Valentin Jeck