Rennes Municipal Crematorium

Ceremony

How does one talk about death while embracing life and the living? How does one design a building that is both spiritual and secular, and that blends into its surrounding landscape?

PLAN01 developed a formal resolution for this very particular commission that left itself open to the widest range of interpretations. The common denominator is the circle, which is the leitmotif of the project’s architecture and landscape. Its symbolism remains open; it evokes the biological cell, constellations, the image of primitive burial sites, and even recent Land Art figures. Multiple circles define a series of thresholds that determine the sequence of the funeral ceremony. The granite block wall marks the passage from the world of the ordinary to a space for the exceptional. Inside, curved shapes soften the feelings of inexorability, leaving everyone free to choose his or her own perambulation. Circular patios and mostly glassed-in spaces provide visitors with visual refuges to the surrounding landscape.

This project was awarded the 2010 Brittany Special Architecture Prize and was nominated for the 2011 Mies van der Rohe Prize.

PROGRAM
Construction of the Rennes municipal crematorium
CITY
Vern-sur-Seiche (France)
CLIENT
Rennes Métropole
CONTRACTORSHIP
PLAN.01, architect
Base, landscape designer
Arcadis, engineering
Delta, fluids engineering
RPO, financial management
SURFACE
1,100 m² (net)
COST
€2,500,000 (pre-tax)
TIMELINE
Delivered in 2009

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