We are constructing two animal-related buildings on the boundary between the industrial site Maatheide and the nature reserve the Lommelse Sahara: an animal shelter and a pet crematorium. The buildings lack an attractive public reputation, hence their relocation to the industrial site, which in turn, is not accustomed to house public buildings. As an architecture assignment, the programmes too are fairly unfamiliar and thus require research into new, meaningful typologies.
Both buildings are planned along the new road connecting the industrial site to the nature reserve behind it. Both the shelter and the crematorium were provided with an enclosed private outdoor space, evoking the image of two stamps in an unscathed landscape, while the actual parcel limits are consciously left unformalised.
The cultivation of the relationship with the nature reserve allows the industrial buildings to acquire a full public dimension. The meaning of the buildings arises from that duality: a public building in a nature reserve and a low-budget building on an industrial site, hence providing them with their ultimate character, between the ordinary and the formal, between the robust and the picturesque.
The pet crematorium is a border house. On the edge of the Lommelse Sahara there’s one last building, hesitating between a house and an industrial building. The building has a garden surrounded by walls, which is positioned in the rough nature reserve like a hortus conclusus and serves as a scattering garden.
The pet crematorium is conceived as a compact building with two floors, hence allowing for the visitation rooms and waiting rooms to be located on the first floor where one can enjoy the landscape in complete peace and privacy. The clear plan integrates two circulation routes (public and private) without intersections. The architecture is a sober background to the final goodbye.
Client: Kuaga bvba
Surface: 310 m2
Date: 2013 – 2015