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 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 second key element of the building is the crematory and associated administration and staff facilities. The catafalque provides the key interface between the chapel and the crematory, and leads into a coffin transfer space. The cremators and associated filtration and abatement equipment are housed in a plant room immediately adjacent to the coffin committal area. Beyond this are administration facilities for the crematorium staff and visitors as well as back of house facilities for the operators.
The landscaping of the 3.7 Ha grounds is split into a number of key character areas: the northern portion is more formally planted an protected, comprising a private garden and an arboretum area, and this can be viewed from the chapel. The southern portion of the site is less formally landscaped with open woodland planting and the remembrance walk. There is parking for 138 cars overall in the scheme, with 120 spaces specifically dedicated to mourners. The site boundary is presently defined on two sides by mature hedgerows; these are to be augmented with screen planting of similar character on the other boundaries of the site.
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