architecture : urban : visual culture

Passage and deepening: the transformation of the Berhida mortuary

Gábor TóthImre BokányiOrsolya Máté designed a new funeral home in Berhida. They kept the old funeral home to accomodate all the functional requirements extending it with new poetical elements of memories. Berhida is considered to be a typical hungarian country town: drowsy, calm, quite empty. The future of the youth is elsewhere. Naturally, the cemetery is continuously expanding.

Berhida is considered to be a typical hungarian country town: drowsy, calm, quite empty. The future of the youth is elsewhere. Naturally, the cemetery is continuously expanding.

The given program intended to demolish the existent funeral home to provide plot to a new one owing to suit new standards of regulation. Our aim was to keep the existent funeral building, not just because it can accomodate all the functional requirements but rather it is the place where old memories of the town can be recalled as well as new ones. 

In the early fifties - during the most dark years of socialism- the state suppressed the mourning ritual held at the home of the deceased, and ordered to build funeral homes in every cemetery instead. So the intimate farewell among family members became a theatrical presentation of emotions in front of the whole community. The proposed construction records this almost inconceivable status between decease and burial. All the chosen materials -local rock as a pillar, an old trunk as a beam, an infinitely thin concrete slab - represents this vague, unstable moment of our life.

 

 

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