LOCATION: INDUNO OLONA, VARESE, ITALY ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN: ABDARCHITETTI BOTTICINI – DE APPOLONIA E ASSOCIATI, ARCH. CAMILLO BOTTICINI COLLABORATORS: ARCH. ALESSANDRO GALPERTI, ARCH. CHRISTINA TSOMPANOGLOU, ARCH. GERARDO UBEDA RUEDA, ING. PAOLO DELLANA, SAHIL SHARMA, STUDIO CORNA STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING: ING. FRANCO PALMIERI MEP ENGINEERING: PLANEX SRL LANDSCAPE DESIGN: — CONSTRUCTION COMPANY: MACCHI COSTRUZIONI SRL (VENEGONO INFERIORE, VARESE) PHOTOGRAPHS: ALESSANDRO GALPERTI CLIENT: COMUNE DI INDUNO OLONA
The new extension for the cemetery of Induno Olona, Varese, (Italy) is a volumetric addition to an existing cemetery that was designed in the nineteenth century by Carlo Maciachini, author of the Monumental Cemetery of Milan. The project is the first phase of larger extension flanking for about 100 meters the north edge of the existing graveyard. The part built so far is a 40 meters-long 2-storey massive volume, which contains 360 columbaria and several family chapels. The new volume creates a surprising scenographic effect. From the distance it creates a white backdrop for the existing burial ground, while from behind the existing cemetery's former external wall, it disguises a covered space providing natural light on the new part. The relationship between the existing outdoors space and the inside of the extension is mediated by the façade system. Constructed by means of Carrara white marble, the vertical panelling of the façade generates games of natural light in the inside, taking advantage of the direct light from south. The pavement and columbarium units are clad with mat polished Carrara marble which confers the surfaces a pale white-azure appearance (due to natural marble vain). The choice and the use of materials are crucial in this project to achieve -at the same- time the adequate solemnity for a funerary place and establish a clear dialogue with the existing cemetery. If looked in perspective with other recent similar cemetery extensions (see also Update: Cemeteries in A10 #46), the Induno Olona’s can be regarded as part of a common approach. Similarly to Giovanni Vaccarini's in Ortona (2006), the Reinhard Drexel’s in Fussach (Austria, 2007), or Karres en Brands’ de Nieuwe Ooster in Amsterdam (2008), this intervention seems to establish a contrasting dialogue with its existing context, yet using a sort of common language. Recent extensions seem to rely on the use of pure volumes, white walls, simple and monolithic shapes in order to achieve a certain degree of solemnity, yet connecting with the existing configuration in forms, materials or symbolically. The abdarchitetti’s project appears to escape from the classical monumentality which characterises the majority of old cemeteries in Europe, achieved by the employment of columns, capitals and other elements of classical orders, ornaments and sculptures, yet employs the same material (Carrara marble) of the existing cemetery. It continues the lines and proportion of the existing arcades, but with a different material and colour. The abdarchitetti’s intention is to render ancestral concepts such as the “suspension of time and space related to the notion of death” by means of a contemporary language.