Located within the Alpine countryside, Islamic Cemetery designed by Bernardo Bader Architekten serves the eight-percent Muslim population in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg and comprises a simple rectilinear building with five burial enclosures.
A central motif for the conceptual design of the cemetery was the interfaith idea of the “first garden.” The creation of a garden is the clear demarcation of a piece of land from the surrounding wilderness. In Altach, a delicate network of walls of varying heights frames the burial areas and the buildings. The “finger-shaped” burial areas embed the site in the pastoral landscape.
The principal materials used were exposed reinforced concrete for the walls and oak wood for the ornamentation of the entrance facade and the interior of the prayer space. The visitor is greeted by and must pass through the congregation space with its wooden latticework in geometric Islamic patterns.
The aim of the design was to create open and clearly laid out grounds and buildings that are pragmatically integrated into the land form using minimal, but consciously chosen symbolism.