Chiltern District Council on behalf of Chilterns Crematorium Joint Committee
Shortlisted for RIBA Regional Award South, 2020
The new 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, designed sensitively to ensure arriving and departing mourners do not meet.
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 series of cofﬁn transfer spaces. The cremators and associated ﬁltration and abatement equipment are housed in a plant room immediately adjacent to the cofﬁn committal area.
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, helps to orient all visitors to the site whilst serving to maximise the privacy and seclusion of the mourning parties.