Project's Summary

The Aussegnungshalle Bretten-Neibsheim project, designed by the architectural studio wwz GmbH, aimed to create a space where people could say their final goodbyes in peace and tranquility. The goal was to provide a place where family and friends could offer comfort to the bereaved, where the community could support those in mourning, and where the burden of grief could be shared.

One of the key features of the design is its simplicity. The focus is on the essentials: the structure, the space, and the light. The building is meant to provide mourners with a space, but it cannot offer solace through any gestures or materials. It is the community that fulfills this role. To achieve this simplicity, the architects opted for a geometrically simple form with a smooth and calm aesthetic. The use of a precast concrete facade adds to the sense of tranquility and provides a minimalist atmosphere as visitors approach the cemetery grounds.

The chapel itself is designed as a place for final farewells. The architects aimed to create an environment where people can find peace and reflection. To achieve this, the walls and ceilings are painted in a dark brown color, and pendant lights create a warm and comforting atmosphere in dimmer lighting conditions. The building is heated by underfloor heating, and with the use of interior insulation, the chapel can be selectively heated without unnecessary energy loss.

A window in the chapel allows a view into the courtyard, which is filled with gravel and features a continuous planting bed. Both elements allow visitors to gaze into the distance and change their perspective. However, the view is intentionally limited, encouraging a focus on the present moment.

The functional building includes a preparation room and various ancillary spaces, most of which are underground. The chapel itself can accommodate seating for nearly 100 people, with a comfortable distance between seats. An additional 50 people can stand in the rear area, and a canopy provides covered standing space for more visitors. Through a speaker system, attendees can follow the funeral service.

Overall, the Aussegnungshalle Bretten-Neibsheim project aims to provide a serene and contemplative space for mourners to find solace and support. The simple and minimalist design, along with the thoughtful use of materials and lighting, creates an atmosphere conducive to reflection and remembrance.

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