Innovation That Matters

Architectural design

Dutch architecture firm designs a new style of funeral home

Property & Construction

The new design puts a modern twist on the long-held, traditional concept of funerals.

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We have seen innovation in architecture range from the small to the mighty, from tiny homes to pedestrian bridges. Now fresh thinking has turned to reinventing whole buildings. Dutch architecture firm HofmanDujardin have reinvented the traditional concept of a funeral home with their modern design.

Studio partners Michiel Hofman and Barbara Dujardin’s found inspiration out of the loss of a close friend. Together they aimed to design a concept that better reflects how humans say goodbye to a loved one. HofmanDujardin’s design philosophy is ‘shaping intuition’, or design based on intuitive, natural feelings of humans. The architects used such thinking to create an alternative to convention, shaping a funeral home around three main spaces.

The first is called the Wall of Memories and is the most technological of the rooms. Floor-to-ceiling screens across the walls can feature digital memories of the deceased, either sent in advance or real-time. The photos and videos are available for download afterwards, creating a digital memento for mourners of their loved one. The second space is central to the building, for the coffin to sit and the ceremony to take place. Its triangular shape and curved walls and ceiling create together a sense of intimacy for small and large groups. A panoramic window adds light and a natural view to the simple room. The third and final space features natural timber, fitting with the open style of the building and thereby acts as an event space for mourners to gather after the ceremony.

The combination of thoughtful design and subtle technology makes for a unique building suited to a new style of farewell. What other traditions might transform through innovative ideas in years to come?



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