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© Michael Heinrich
© Frank Kaltenbach
© Frank Kaltenbach
© Michael Heinrich
© Frank Kaltenbach
© Frank Kaltenbach
© Frank Kaltenbach
© Michael Heinrich
© Michael Heinrich
"Laid out on the flat plain to the east of Munich, this cemetery extension provides space for roughly 5,600 new graves and a funeral hall. The complex was to be integrated into the landscaped park of the new Trade Fair City that is being developed here. The 32-acre cemetery area is divided into four elevated islands, defined by embankments and rubble-stone walling. The building complex comprises a varied sequence of enclosed spaces and open courtyards and adopts the width and axial lines of the existing cemetery on the opposite side of the road. The elevated flat concrete roof spanned across the courtyard forms a symbolic gateway to another world. Together with the bell tower, it creates a landmark and point of orientation in the small-scale surrounding urban fabric. This monastery-like complex is distinguished by its flowing spatial transitions. The floor-height window fronts are in frameless glazing and are scarcely perceptible as enclosing elements, while other large apertures are closed by room-height doors and gates in preoxidized steel or oak. The varied lighting, materials and textures in the different spaces lend each of them a distinct atmosphere. The hall where final blessing is given to the dead is visually extended to an outdoor pool of water, the surface of which is at the same level as the internal floor. The walls continue out past the glazing, enclosing an external courtyard, yet allowing no view of the sky; all one sees is the daylight glancing over the surface of the stones. Similarly, the roof light at the top of the hall does not afford a direct view out either. By suspending the timber structure of the raised loft area from the concrete roof, it was possible to open the facades to the courtyard without impeding the view with columns. The exposed areas of concrete have a bush-hammered or boarded-formwork finish. All materials were used in a solid form and left untreated. The natural process of ageing to which they are subject may be seen as a symbol of the cycle of life. "