| Gianfranco Panza
| 2011 | Curso: Master, 1º. Accademia di architettura di Mendrisio (CH)
| Profesor: Kersten Geers
Today, a great number of buildings do not require an intricate development of the plan in order to be either socially viable or economically interesting. If the plan and its potential complexity could be an inspiration (or an alibi even) for a great number of architectural projects -and in most cases its failure, it seems that as soon as the plan and the complexity of its use turns irrelevant, the lever to argue for Architecture is most certainly gone.
The battle for architecture and its necessity is fought on the fields of housing and public building: there where the plan matters. Contrarily, a great part of the contemporary building production happens in the fringes of this universe. A great number of buildings are pragmatic clothing for a not too specifically defined content. In many cases any attempt to make architecture, starting from the sheer pragmatism of this content becomes wishful thinking. Still, when the scale of the building appears significant in relation to its context, the stakes are too high to let go. (1)
The project is part of a series of investigations on architectural strategies for banal buildings of a significant scale. In this case, a crematory plus columbarium was chosen not as a programme but as a catalyst. The building uses the function or content as an alibi for its existence.
Big buildings are inevitably related to the ground by its size and weight, so in a bigger scale they co-exist with their surroundings without a proper dialogue. The aim of the project is to bring both: this type of building and such function the columbarium into the city, to its urban fabric; and research for a smart strategy in order to give this part of Paris’ periphery an accurate and designed public space defined by its existance.
It situates along the entire block which is approximately 200 m, taking its whole length. The volume defines the space in the heart of the block (which was originally used as a parking lot) by creating a piazza that faces the entrance of the existing market.
The building itself is conceptually and practically divided in 2 parts:
· The functional area: the underground level, where the parking, administration offices and the crematories are.
· The columbarium: the structure is conceived as the columbarium itself. The sepulchral vaults containing the ashes are inserted vertically and horizontally in it.
The structure/building would be gradually filled out.
*(1) Booklet Atelier Office Kersten Geers David van Severen – Semester I – Accademia di architettura di Mendrisio