a new space for silence and meditation
andrea dragoni designed a series of travertine volumes for the extension of an existing cemetery in gubbio—a medieval town in central italy. the blocks are arranged in a straight line to echo the linear arrangement of the historic town and its surrounding landscapes.
to give the new architecture spatial rhythm, the stone volumes are divided by courtyards with large square openings inspired by james turrell‘s skyspaces. called ‘squares of silence’, these apertures frame the sky to create a place where people can pause and reflect, independent from the cemetery.
‘the sky thus framed opens the mind to the reign of the invisible, allowing sight and thought to abandon mother earth’s gravity and acquire a more aerial and spiritual dimension,’ says the italian architect.
images by alessandra chemollo
the courtyards with square windows to the sky are further enlivened by site-specific artworks created by italian artists sauro cardinali and nicola renzi. the artists collaborated with andrea dragoni from the beginning of the project to create pieces that are closely linked to the architecture. with this new contemplative building and these permanent artworks, the project not only provides additional space for gubbio cemetery but also gives inhabitants of the town a place to pause and reflect.
the cemetery extension has a linear arrangement to echo the old town
the walls are made from travertine stone
the spaces offer privacy and reflection
an inclined wall creates rhythm
one of the ‘squares of silence’ with site-specific artwork
the permanent artworks were created by sauro cardinali and nicola renzi
name: extension of gubbio cemetery
location: via del crocifisso, gubbio, italy
client: comune di gubbio
architecture: andrea dragoni with francesco pes
collaborators: andrea moscetti castellani, giorgio bettelli, michela donini, raul cambiotti, antonio ragnacci, cristian cretaro, matteo scoccia
site-specific artwork: sauro cardinali, nicola renzi
structural design: giuseppe artegiani, marco bacchi
plants design: italprogetti (moreno dorillo, elvisio regni)
safety coordination: claudio pannacci
director of works: francesco pes, paolo bottegoni
maquette: giuseppe fioroni
surface area: 4,035 sqm
construction area: 1,800 sqm
overall volume: 6,000 mc
photography: alessandra chemollo