Sigurd Lewerentz

St: Knut and St: Gertrude Chapels

- Malmö - Sweden

The Cemetery Authority of Malmö commissioned Lewerentz to design two coequal chapels and a bell tower, as well as to expand the crematorium which was built in 1931. The point of departure for the work Lewerentz formulated somewhat subtlety: “The landscape in which the chapels are to be built will not be disturbed by the slightly imposing stature of the massing, which is used to give space to the relatively small chapel rooms.” One reaches the twin chapels via a road to the south of a ridge through separate forecourts and parking lots. Separately from these one also reaches the crematorium’s various parts immediately behind.

The complex reflects Lewerentz renewed focus on the expressive possibilities of materials, now brought together in greater profusion. The colonnades are supported on marble clad columns, and their slanted roofs consist of marble plates resting on open wood joints, revealing the delicate wooden substructure. The chapels have brick supporting walls, faced on the interior by yellow brick and on the exterior by thin horizontal strips of marble chips, inexpressively produced in a limestone factory. Each accommodates about 140 persons.

The entry porches lead to spacious ante-rooms with organ lofts above. Each sanctuary has a centrally placed catafalque, around which benches are grouped. Light filters down from narrow windows, high on the wall.


Photos: Kalle Söderman

Photos (13 to 15): Josep Maria Torra

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