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Paviljoen in  begraafplaats 

Cemetery Heidehof in Apeldoorn receives besides visitors of family graves more and more people like hikers appreciating the natural and peaceful surroundings of this cemetery. This commission is for a place where visitors could rest and meet. From a walk through a quiet graveyard, you are always overcome by a particular mood. A cemetery is a world unto itself, where one seems to stand apart from the everyday world; unconsciously you become touched by thoughts of life and death that do not usually occupy you in your daily life. The question we put to ourselves was how could our pavilion best receive people who are in this frame of mind. We found that buildings and objects that have an everyday, secular purpose provided inappropriate references for this design. We therefore decided to begin the search for the design by collecting sculptures and images and assessing them according to the mood they evoked. These were often natural or hand-formed objects and objects that expressed the softness of clothing. Through this process it became increasingly clear what it was we sought: the tactility of nature and hands and to create a spatial sensation in which visitors would feel embraced.

The quest for a form brought us to a double dome built with a steel and wood construction. The ceiling is made from a curved, oak veneer and the gravel floor is the colour of the local sand. The warm, curved spaces embrace the visitor, while the gravel floor links inside with the surrounding area. The spaces evoke different sensations and the views of the landscape outside are in constant flux. This variety is created by the continuously changing height of the ceiling and by the roof edge and the curved wall, which direct the view from inside to out.

Multifunctional meeting space
Heidehof, Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
November 2008
Municipality of Apeldoorn
Project architect: Olivier Langejan
Collaborators: Annemarijn Haarink,
Jasper Grool
Floor Area:
274 m²
Building costs:
738.000 euro

Photography: Jeroen Musch

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