The building for the Churchyard Offices and Staff Housing in Gufunes Cemetary is the first building of several in Reykjavik’s main cemetry complex. The phases yet to come include a church, chapel and a crematorium.
This two-storey building is situated on a basaltic hill south of the cemetary grounds. The project approch is based on the site’s premises, working in different scales, looking at the space between the stones with the aim of translating it to architectural spaces. The upper floor includes a reception and offices, while the lower floor contains technical and working areas.
The artwork in the building is based on ideas born in a dialogue between the artists Berghall and Arkibullan architects. The wall piece “Traces”, made of cast concrete elements that create a pattern on the long curved wall in the conference room, is based on the placement of the largest basaltic rock on the site before development started. Color sets in office spaces and hallway use colors picked from the nature around the site. In the stairway hall is a permanent wall assemblage consisting of Diasec mounted black and white prints made from historic photographs of funerals in Iceland.
The building defines the entrance to the whole area, standing as the eastern wall of the structures that are yet to come. The structure constitutes of two masses. White concrete walls in contrast to walls made of local basaltic stone sets its mark on the building’s appearances.
Contributed by Arkibúllan Architects
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