Funeral homes can be depressing spaces–and not just because of their function. Many of these buildings, of which there are 19,322 in the U.S. alone, are grey, windowless spaces that look like cheap hotel lobbies. The Dutch architectural firm HofmanDujardin, on the other hand, thinks funeral homes and mortuary spaces be uplifting spaces of love, which is why it recently proposed a design that better reflects the way we say goodbye.
Founded in 1999, HofmanDujardin’s mission as a firm is to help people to work well and feel good. “In general, all designs we make are human-centered,” assistant architect Willem Wopereis says over email. “Our design philosophy–which we call ‘shaping intuition’–is based on intuitive, natural feelings of human beings.” The firm’s conceptual design for a funeral space was spurred by the loss of a dear friend of the studio’s partners, Michiel Hofman and Barbara Dujardin. The experience made the architects “reflect upon the way we say goodbye and rethink what a suitable building would look like,” Wopereis explains, “asking themselves how sad moments in our lives can be beautiful at the same time.”
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