Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Architecture of Death

The Municipal Cemetery in Modena (Italy) must be one of the few cemeteries where an “Archistar” has been called in. I came across this place in Modena thanks to a magazine article.

Cemeteries in Italy are one of the strange things here. Little boxes are piled high one above the other to hold the dead. They are often multi storey structures. The little frail old ladies who climb the dangerous looking step ladders the council provide to place flowers always amaze me.

The workings of these cemeteries are quite macabre. On popping off, you start out in a normal coffin and then every so often the coffin gets opened and the remains moved to an ever-smaller box. This is to make more room in the family tomb or a move to a smaller cheaper little box. The orange building in this set is the final destination with the smallest boxes, called the “Osario”, translated “Ossuary” .

This cemetery was designed by Aldo Rossi a famous Italian architect and intellectual. It was built in the late 70’s.

Aldo Rossi was a Professor of Architectural Composition, which is the very subject that this poor English Engineer was told was missing from his qualifications to allow a mutual EU recognition of my British qualifications. I had to spend a 6 month “apprenticeship” with an Italian Engineer to learn this vital requisite for an Engineer.

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