Crematorium Uitzicht – Kortrijk, Belgium

“My architecture fluctuates considerably between the full and the empty,
the open and the closed.” (Eduardo Souto de Moura)

At first glance, not much is seen of the crematorium as one gazes out over the
Hoog Kortrijk landscape towards the distant valley. With only a meter-high wall
visible above the ground, the rest of the building folds into the landscape with
concrete plateaus that slip into the slope, and is covered by a green roof. ‘Uitzicht’
is Flemish for view or hope.

In 2005, when the Flemish authorities set out in search for an architect to
construct a new crematorium in an existing cemetery, the commission went to
Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura and local interdisciplinary studio
SumProjects. Souto de Moura, who was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize
in 2011, is known for creating work that, “like poetry, is able to communicate
emotionally to those who take the time to listen”. Sober and righteous, the
crematorium offers a dignified farewell to the deceased.

Souto de Moura’s fascination by the beauty and authenticity of materials and
his ability to combine them to create expressive entities inspires us. Artist Pedro
Cabrita Reis’s piece ‘Looking in Silence’, displayed in the submerged courtyard, is
a bittersweet reminder that everything is transient.

Find out more about Domani.

Published on November 16, 2021

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