Chiltern District Council, Aylesbury Vale District Council, Wycombe District Council
The proposed building has two distinct programmatic elements; the first is the provision of a large chapel in which services of remembrance takes place. Allied to this space are a series of internal and external waiting areas and ancillary spaces in which arriving mourners can comfortably congregate in advance of their service. The chapel features space for seated and standing mourners and has a small gallery area at first floor level.
The second key element of the building is the crematory and associated ancillary facilities. The catafalque provides the key interface between the chapel and the crematory, and leads into a series of coffin transfer spaces. The cremators and associated filtration and abatement equipment are housed in a large plant room immediately adjacent to the coffin committal area. In this area are administration facilities for the crematorium staff and visitors as well as back of house facilities for the operators. The gross internal floor area of the building is 580m2.
The position and orientation of elements is carefully defined to ensure there is a well-defined sense of order to the services, with the progression from landscape to waiting area, from lobby to catafalque, from catafalque to cloister, and from cloister to floral tribute and arboretum providing a sense of dignity and to the service and closure to the mourners.
The overall form of the crematorium makes itself legible by way of two specific languages: the waiting areas, porte cochere and administration facilities are unified by a single low roof element and have their requirements for privacy addressed through clerestory windows; the chapel and crematory are identified by an upward-looking double-height volume clad in vertical timber rainscreen cladding and a dual- pitched sedum roof.
The landscape and building design utilise the porte cochere as a primary identifier upon a well-defined axis of approach from the vehicular areas. This strategy, allied to the careful programmatic control of occupant movement internally, will help to orient all visitors to the site whilst serving to maximise the privacy and seclusion of the mourning parties.
Renders by Forbes Massie
Landscape plan by Plincke Landscape