Bagard & Luron Architectes : Crématorium de Nancy-Vandoeuvre

 In Vandeuvre-lès-Nancy (54), the architectural duo Bagard & Luron have just delivered the new crematorium in the metropolis of Greater Nancy. A 1 square meter project remarkable for its sobriety, which is explained by an intelligent distribution and an inspired choice of materials: a warm wooden heart wrapped in stone and zinc.

Solemn and heartwarming. Here is in two words how could be summarized the result - oh so difficult to achieve - towards which an architect should strive by realizing a crematorium. Because if such a building constitutes a place of passage for the deceased, it must as far as possible avoid inspiring fear in the grieving relatives.

Nadège Bagard and Marc-Olivier Luron were confronted with this perilous exercise in 2015, when they were given the task of designing this type of equipment for the metropolis of Greater Nancy. Far from being intimidated, the duo "Seeks the stability of forms, the clarity of volumes and the noble simplicity of natural materials" to imagine “Functional, high-performance equipment, supported by quality architecture and emphasizing the reception conditions offered to families. "


These considerations result in a wooden construction clad in stapled stone, the S-shaped plan of which accommodates all the requirements mentioned in the specifications: two ceremony rooms, offices, ovens, and of course various technical rooms. Seen from the outside, the crematorium has a deliberately abstract volume that conceals its function: the chimneys are for example camouflaged in a paving stone clad in zinc for more discretion. Still for the sake of decency, the building is equipped with separate accesses for the public - south side - and for staff - to the north. A precaution reinforced by the interior distribution, organized so that relatives cannot see the technical corridor giving access to the ovens and other rooms reserved for staff.

In addition, three patios, pierced in the heart and periphery of the building "Accompany family tours by providing controlled natural light", explain the architects, while "That waiting rooms, treated like alcoves, make it possible to identify the sometimes staggered arrival of other people". Once gathered, all are then invited to meditate in one of the two ceremonial rooms, remarkable for the spruce frame left visible here. Arranged on either side of the building, these two essential rooms bear witness to the delicacy of their designers: the first thanks to its four-sided roof evoking the comfort of a house, the second by its gradually tightened massing around the coffin, so as to amplify the feeling of intimacy ...

To learn more, visit the Bagard & Luron site

Photographs: Nicolas Waltefaugle

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