Prague cemeteries

by Barbora Havrlová from Faculty of Architecture, Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech Republic
Tutored by: Doc.Ing.Arch. Roman Koucký

Author comments:

At the begining of my diploma project I analyzed the state of Prague cemeteries categorizing them according to their overall character. That lead me to create a Manual of Care and Transformation, as conceptual handbook. I used the main principles of the Manual in my design of a cemetery extension in Šárka.

As a place with respect to the laws of nature, changing seasons and daily cycles the new cemetery adopts a park character. Instead of gravestones the burial places are marked with memorial flowers or even trees. Design of new cemetery is based on Sun study and it’s focused on the most important day of the year – the All Souls' Day. Searching for a new ritual for our atheist nation where dying and death are forced out to the society fringe, I found the Way. The Way as a course of our living towards death. The Way through the tunnel connecting two different worlds. Alive and dead never get closer each other than on All Souls' Day…

Tutor comments:

I am really fascinated by this diploma project. First of all it is impressive literary work that is not only about architecture it also describes a general state of society as well. Her Manual of Care and Transformation serves as a basis for a real one in Prague at this moment.

Diploma thesis is important millstone for every (young) architect. Years after it shows its imperfection. But once a decade we can find the exception. I am convinced, this thesis is the one. I am sure about realizing this proposal. Her sensitive approach and different point of view as a new perception and understanding of death is the right way for solving actual crisis in funeral itself.

New cemetery is not only for ecologists and nature enthusiasts. It is for all, who want to watch the sunset afar with the feeling of strong history behind, participation of this history and the integral part of the universe.
I would really like to be buried here facing to the West like the old Egyptians use to do for millenniums…

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