Cemetery Residence

Cemetery Residence

Architect
Tomecek Studio Architecture
Location
Salida, CO, USA | View Map
Category
Private Houses

Cemetery Residence- A Celestial Connection

Tomecek Studio Architecture as Architects

The Story

 

Sitting in the office at our initial meeting, my first impression of the clients was sheer curiosity.  She is an artist who appreciates textures and craft.  He is a consultant in water conservation space and practices creative writing.  They spoke of a special piece of a rural land with unparalleled views and very uncommon neighbors.  

Their program requirements were very straight forward - an off-grid one bedroom base camp retreat that would ultimately become their future residence.  They requested a master plan to include room for a guest or two in the future while still maintaining privacy.  Oh, and they needed a Wizards Tower…my mind was spinning, what is a Wizards Tower and how does it function?  It didn’t even matter because at this moment I knew these were unique clients and this would be a special project.

Death Section.jpg

It turns out that very unique neighbors reside in a cemetery adjacent to the site and they have been there for quite some time.  They are very quiet neighbors however; their presence is always felt.  As a designer, this contextual relationship fueled the entire conversation and provoked the following question:

What does it mean to build next to a cemetery?

The search for the answer allowed us to probe our clients obsessively.  How do you feel about this place next door?  Is it calming or agitating?  Is it beautiful or horrifying?  Is it sacred? - Definitely sacred.  ‘So then,’ we asked, ‘what is the special nature of this place and the mutual relationship created by proximity?’ 

'Do you realize you could be enjoying coffee or a cocktail outside and there may be people mourning 100 feet away?' I asked our client.  ‘How does that sit with you?  Do you embrace these periodic events, or do you try to buffer yourselves from these interactions?’  These questions would shape our approach to the design process.

The Wizards’ Tower was a much simpler answer.  This was an observation tower and deck that allowed my client to enjoy the unobstructed beauty of the 360 degree views.  We discussed how to make a humble tower that would provide the platform for observation without becoming an icon or eyesore for the valley at large.  These are hallowed grounds set within the majesty of nature - we need to tread lightly and be respectful of our neighbors both present and past.

Featured Projects
Latest Products
News
Estudio MMX interweaves open spaces throughout porous pigmented concrete villa
19 May 2022 News
Estudio MMX interweaves open spaces throughout porous pigmented concrete villa

A sequence of open spaces with a gradual degree of intimacy allow residents to move gently from the... More

Baumschlager Eberle Architekten’s Montagne du Parc demonstrates how concepts of sustainability can be implemented at an early stage of architectural completion
19 May 2022 News
Baumschlager Eberle Architekten’s Montagne du Parc demonstrates how concepts of sustainability can be implemented at an early stage of architectural completion

The largest project completed by Baumschlager Eberle Architekten in Europe to date, the new Montagne... More

Find products by looking at inspirational projects
18 May 2022 Inside Archello
Find products by looking at inspirational projects

Archello’s new Inspiration guide is the world’s first and largest reference guide with a... More

Experimental Co-Housing Denver project by Productora provides a compelling model for centrally located, low-cost housing
17 May 2022 News
Experimental Co-Housing Denver project by Productora provides a compelling model for centrally located, low-cost housing

Only a few miles from the downtown area of Denver, this experimental co-housing project by Productor... More

Baumschlager Eberle Architecten create an architectural statement for a natural setting in Alpe Furx
17 May 2022 News
Baumschlager Eberle Architecten create an architectural statement for a natural setting in Alpe Furx

On a sloping site in the Austrian ski resort of Alpe Furx, this holiday and leisure development by B... More

Under the Willow Tree provides residents an ecologically-minded house in a beautiful green setting
14 May 2022 News
Under the Willow Tree provides residents an ecologically-minded house in a beautiful green setting

In the middle of the countryside at the highest point of the village of Ninove, Belgium, an existing... More

Park Associati’s Luxottica Digital Factory reinterprets an existing industrial building in Milan
14 May 2022 News
Park Associati’s Luxottica Digital Factory reinterprets an existing industrial building in Milan

In Milan, Park Associati’s Luxottica Digital Factory project reinterprets an existing industri... More

Luconi architetti mix modern elements with traditional Alpine architecture
14 May 2022 News
Luconi architetti mix modern elements with traditional Alpine architecture

Located in the Alpine region of Madesimo, Italy, Baita MV by Luconi architetti comprises an extensio... More