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Guildford Crematorium, Godalming, Guildford

Haverstock's crematorium thoughtfully orchestrates the mourner’s journey, avoiding functional aspects intruding on the experience

Guildford Crematorium
Guildford Crematorium Credit: Simon Kennedy

Haverstock for Guildford Crematorium

Contract value: £10m
GIA: 748m²
Cost per m²: £8,256

The thoroughness of the design process is evident in the careful orchestration of the mourner’s journey, avoiding functional aspects intruding on the experience. It creates a world of colonnades and garden courts, beneath a strong horizontal roof datum. The walls and columns that rise up to meet this roof have a solemnity and seriousness: defining routes, bounding spaces and filtering views.

The beauty and delicacy of the excellent landscaping and planting act as a counterpoint. As mourners approach the main chapel building, the great datum of the roof forms a sheltering canopy and frames a view into a garden court. Turning from here into the chapel, this datum is dramatically broken through by a dynamic geometric roof, with natural light filtered through the ribs of the timber structure. In its own abstracted way, it is mediating our understanding of life and death.

  • Guildford Crematorium
    Guildford Crematorium Credit: Simon Kennedy
  • Guildford Crematorium
    Guildford Crematorium Credit: Simon Kennedy
  • Guildford Crematorium
    Guildford Crematorium Credit: Simon Kennedy
  • Guildford Crematorium
    Guildford Crematorium Credit: Simon Kennedy
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