Delimited by a single street and with an entrance facing South, the existing cemetery is laterally confined between a church and a parish hall. Thus, its extension could only be possible towards North, meeting some large agricultural fields.
World Architecture & Design Awards 2019
First Award | Category: Cultural
Architects: Raulino Silva
Studio: Raulino Silva Architect
Team: Raulino Silva, Daniela Amorim, Hélder Silva
Location: Vila do Conde, Portugal
Design: 2008 – 2012
Project year: 2013
Such extension of the cemetery raised mainly two issues.
The first one being the height difference between a new platform, or rather extension of the cemetery, and the level of the agricultural fields. A new retaining wall was created. This wall made out of concrete was then hided with a stone curtain, recycling the previous cemetery walls. In the end contributing to a better camouflage between a new construction and an old landscape.
The second one being the existence of an ornamental façade with evocative elements of some graves. It was decided to keep this special wall and graves due to the fact that these were not only centenary, but also part of the inhabitants’ collective memoir.
In addition to its preservation it was decided to build a new parallel wall on the back of this special façade with new ossuary graves. [Not yet built]
The main area of intervention, the new platform, is divided in two corridors of tombs, in a total of sixty four, delimited with white Estremoz marble slabs. The same marble is used for delimiting the garden, building the stairs and the water fountain too. In the garden, cypresses, small plants and a pavement made out of marble pebbles bring a new atmosphere to the cemetery.
From the inside of this new intervention, when one is facing North and East, white walls cut the landscape and sky, unfolding a unique sight to Ave’s river valley and surrounding mountains.