Cemetary Extension Rütihof, Switzerland

The Simultaneity of the Other

Client: Gemeinde Stadt Baden
Architecture: Fosco
Period: 1988 – 1990
Surface area: 9 000m2

 

This typical cemetery in the Swiss Plateu is characterized by its special location in the context of the town and parish, its marked isolation from the outside world and a formally expressive plant population. Symmetry, consistent zoning into areas with different burial forms, but also an endless pattern of laconic, common individual grave site plants add up to an unmistakable whole.

The draft for the extension refines pre-existent aspects of the cemetary, aiming to unite familiar and new structures. Along the access road, a wall of gray lime sandstone separates the cemetery from the road and adjacent agricultural land. Following the topography, the wall is also sloped. It leads to the lowest point of the grounds, where the small funeral chapel is located. Narrow slots in the wall reveal the arrangement of the burial grounds from the outside. Oblique concrete supports on the inside of the wall absorb the wind load. The rib-like shape of the supports provide a contrast to the smooth outer surface of the wall. On the south side, an angular wall marks the boundary between the grounds and the garden of a detached house behind it. Like the terrain it is built on, the wall is horizontal. A low concrete wall on the hillside creates a fine degree of distance to the open landscape. Its alignment and height respond to the given height ratio. At the end of the adjacent footpath, a short brick wall marks the edge of the cemetery.