Farewell Chapel by OFIS Arhitekti

| 29 comments

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Slovenian practice OFIS Arhitekti have completed a chapel next to an existing graveyard near Ljubljana in Slovenia.

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The curved, concrete structure nestles into the rising landscape.

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A cruciform skylight with integrated lighting illuminates the larch-paneled interior.

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The glazed facade opens onto a terrace for outdoor gatherings during the summer.

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Photographs are by Tomaz Gregoric.

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Here's some more information from OFIS Arhitekti:

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Farewell Chapel

A farewell chapel is located in a village close to Ljubljana.

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The site plot is next to the existing cemetery.

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The chapel is cut into the rising landscape.

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The shape is following the lines of the landscape trajectories around the graveyard.

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Three curved walls are embracing and dividing the programs.

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External curve is dividing the surrounding hill from chapel plateau and also reinstates main supporting wall.

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Services such as storages, wardrobe restrooms and kitchenette are on the inner side along the wall.

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Internal curve is embracing main farewell space.

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It is partly glazed and it is opening towards outside plateau for summer gatherings.

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Roof is following its own curvature and forming external porch.

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Catholic sign is featured as laying cross positioned on the rooftop above the main farewell space.

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It also functions as luminous dynamic element across the space during the daytime and lighting spark in night time.

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Materials are polished concrete, larch wood, glass.

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Inner space: 70m2
External plato: 65 m2
Budget: 180.000 EUR
Invited competition 2005 / 
Construction start 2008 / 
Completed 2009
Navigation: Krasnja, Slovenia

Design team:

  • Rok Oman
  • Spela Videcnik
  • Andrej Gregoric,
Janez martincic,
Magdalena Lacka
  • Katja Aljaz
  • Martina Lipicer

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  • Rex

    Nice project…Good office!

  • ima

    Truly beautiful form work. Spectacular job.

  • Archandy

    I love it

  • tevajo

    I am waiting for a long time for a pure, clean piece of architecture.
    This is an example of good, modest architecture; nothing to take off, nothing to add;
    Congratulations to OFIS!

  • ned.b

    Interesting observation could invent a new definition : organic minimalism ; well done ..

  • heath

    it’s so pretty,
    too bad that ugly cross is in there,
    it would be so much nicer without it.

  • Pekka

    As far as I know each religious object must have its sign, in this case catholic;
    I think a virtual cross as zenital light sign is a proper, simple and clean solution. And also there is the only sophisticated detail in empty sacral room; so it must be also effective element. I also like combination of wave-embracing concrete and wave-shifting wooden shell. ( 10-th image from the top)

  • slater

    This group keeps impressing me over and over again. Beatutiful work, congrats!

  • mcmlxix

    From the text, I take it that this chapel is designed primarily for Catholic funeral Masses. Two critiques:

    1. It appears that the front glazed wall has only narrow door in the center. If so, wouldn’t it be better if the whole wall could open. In this way, the yard defined by the retaining walls would server larger assemblies weather permitting.

    2. In itself, I find the cruciform shape of the skylight to be trite if not tacky. Also depending on the position of the sun, the light pattern emitted could be right side up, sideways, or upside down, which has the unfortunate result of subverting the symbolism. Regardless, a crucifix will need to be present.

    Otherwise, plusses on the simplicity of design and materials and the way in which the retaining walls seem to embrace the yard space.

  • joe dee

    great stuff

  • Wendt

    With less words…SHOCKING SIMPLE , SIMPLY SHOCKING…like a good music. I don’t need to analyze, I just know I like it

  • victor v.

    rockin & original.

  • windbag

    .
    too close resemblance to the entrance to an underground car park.

  • jed_

    nice building, shame about the cross.

  • Page

    Really good project. Clean, pure abstraction.

  • greg

    interesting..in my opinion, it would be better without a cross sign and they could maybe play with the lihgt a little bit more..(“cross-skylight” is a litlle bit silly)..

  • chapmaniac

    whats wrong with entrances to underground car parks windbag? this is an incredible building

  • http://www.winifredwikkeling.com/blog royal creme

    It is minimal but not in that way that strips the thing of all life and beauty. I rather like the shape of it – unexpected for what it is, without making a mockery of its audience.

  • ck

    yeah, nice building… but isn’t the cross a little… literal?

  • yimyim

    it sits a little uncomfortably for me. Especially that concrete join… and the way it ‘sits’ in the landscape. Looks like too much working in plan…

    But the details look clean and well resolved.

  • Wolf

    Beautiful, pure & simple

  • stev

    A well thought and well made made piece. Kind of an architecture sculpture because sense and form work proper together. In catholic believe the souls are saved because of Jesus starving at the cross. While the body goes under the ground, the soul goes “up”. So I think the way they work with the levels, the cross as hole and as light is perfect and the chapel has a good shape to celebrate the “transformation” from life to death for believers. If you do a religious building you can not fear to be ‘literal’.

  • Joyce

    Agree with Stev. Here is another opinion from M.Wilson:
    I disagree with the criticism of the crucifix- I think it could be rather powerful. I’m not too familiar with local customs or the actual function of this chapel, but I assume that it functions as a viewing area for the body before burial. In that case, you can imagine that the casket is presented in alignment with the cross. During the day, this would permit an imprint of sunlight in the shape of the cross to drape the body. Very literal, but also a very strong use of light as a christian allegory.

  • windbag

    @chapmaniac.

    what’s wrong with that?
    first, the intention was to build a chapel, so a building that is supposed to inspire some sense of spirituality and contemplation.
    I don’t see much spirituality in an underground car park, that’s all.
    Check picture number 6, that railing is really cheap.
    I think the intentions were good, the reference to Ronchamp and all, I don’t mind the cross, Tadao Ando did the same thing, literal but that’s fine.
    All considered anyway I think the overall result is quite poor.

  • goodfeeling

    Beautiful work, but I also think it would be much prettier without the cross. Its a chapel, not a church. If someone uses chapel it doesn’t mean that he/she is a catholic or any other believer.
    Chapels should be without religious symbols, which should be placed on graves.
    Multi-religious graveyards with non-symbolized chapels are cool :)
    We are in 21st century!

  • overdose

    A cross sign to this chapel is like a Mercedes sign to a car. Works for me.

  • max habib

    gorgeous

  • http://architekturblog.wordpress.com/ epi

    wow! elegant! but I miss pics of the interior – also on the ofis homepage!

  • Als

    I like this religious building for its simplicity and liveliness.