An austere material palette of concrete and grey marble helped Kaan Architecten create a series of calming and contemplative spaces inside this crematorium in Belgium.
With the completion of Crematorium Siesegem, a project led by Vincent Panhuysen, KAAN Architecten can count another thoughtful structure as part of their portfolio. Crematoria have complex logistics that often determine their design. This newly completed crematorium, on a 5476sq m plot on the outskirts of Aalst in Belgium, feels holistic and soothing thanks to its controlled flow of activity. The trees, shrubs and small hills surrounding the building, conceived by Brussels landscape designer Eric Dhont, move visitors to slow down before entering. A service road for hearses to the east is hidden from view entirely.
Upon entering the crematorium, a sequence of spaces shapes the visitor’s physical experience, preventing spatial confusion. At 6.4 meters tall, the remarkable floor-to-ceiling height of the interior enhances the sense of vastness, paired by the warm abundance of daylight. A large concrete canopy stretches into a generously proportioned hall from which the reception desk is immediately visible. The reception hall is infused with light by two large windows overlooking a landscaped garden and houses a discreet passageway to the cafeteria, which features a large-scale painting by Belgian artist Rinus Van de Velde.