building | 2009. 11. 23. 22:01:00 | Felhasználó: admin | Slovenia - Krasnja | 11741 letöltés |
András Árvai | Éva Répás | Norbert Villányi
Lady in White
Épület megnevezése: Farewell Chapel
A felvétel ideje: 2009. 08. 17.
Készítő: Andras Arvai, Celina Jeffery, Eva Repas, Norbert Villanyi

The realisation of a building always attracts an increased attention of the local people. The importance of such an event may become even higher when the client is a rather small community, who does not get enough clues to a project that touches such a delicate issue of life as death. However, in a way, everything begins with death.

Farewell chapel, Krasnja, Slovenia, OFIS arhitekti (OFIS architects)

Inhabitants indeed paid a special attention to the construction of their farewell chapel built near the walls of the local cemetery at the edge of Krasnja, a village 50 kms away from the capital, Ljubljana, Slovenia. However, under construction, with its peculiar form but still simple structure, the future chapel rather resembled a concrete bunker. Dug into the side of a hill, with a shape following the lines of the landscape trajectories, the landmark has been designed to integrate into the slope and the environment. The two arcs cutting in the hillside are like arms embracing the core of the building where the farewell space hides between curved walls.  It is not a perfect hideout, though, as one can see into the central space through a large, glazed surface heading and opening towards the road to the chapel.

These curved walls are to support the roof, which follows the line of the inner walls to return to the embracing ‘arms’ i.e. to the hillside. This planted rooftop seems to merge with the slope, though the lines of the walls are clearly visible from an upper perspective. Due to the fine design of curved shapes the building shows a new and exciting face from every angle. The colours, the white of the polished concrete surface together with the red larch wooden panels, are in good harmony both with each other and the surrounding environment.

As for the colours, a few hundred years ago the colour of mourning used to be white in Europe, instead of black, which is the symbol of grief in the region today. (Just for the record, architects and their custom of wearing black is a completely different matter.) Black is the colour of sorrow and darkness, while white, representing light, purity and innocence, has positive connotations. This should be mentioned only for the fact that considering a farewell ceremony and death in its mythical and incomprehensible nature, the first thing to come into someone’s (an architect’s) mind is the innate form of the house, the space i.e. the type of houses and chapels characteristic of the community. Death, this most personal tradition, is determined by the customs and regulations of the community at the same time, regarding the appropriate colours, time, form, ceremony and formality. 

Such commonly accepted and respected traditions have been touched by the Ofis, Ljubljana, an architect group from the capital, with the leading of two young architects. All in all, only perfect outsiders can be able to take this challenge. This is indeed a sensitive situation for both sides, as the community is defenceless against the architect’s idea, while the architect is exposed to the common will of the locals. In the case of this chapel, the idea has been fulfilled, while the community could not accept the building. They called it names under the construction phase, and there was a constant pressure on the architects to transform the building according to the vision of the locals. The relationship of the two sides became so cold by the end that the architects were not invited to the delivery ceremony.

The local reception of a building, however, can be regarded as a subsidiary issue to the approval of the wider and the professional scene. The chapel itself with its novelty, freshness and sculptural look is an attractive piece of architecture indeed, which has an inevitably good and friendly atmosphere. Well, if we accept that everything begins with death, the idea has found a right place.

Andras Árvai

Translation: Csilla Budavári



Cimkék: Krasnja chapel Slovenia Ofis Architects

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