Function and Symbol

architects Blaž Budja, Špela Kuhar, Robert Potokar
project Farewell Building, Kotije, Slovenia
written by Uroš Lobnik


The farewell building (rather than funeral home) in Kotlje, an idyllic rural settlement below the Mt Uršlja, is characterized by its well-adapted insertion into the micro and macro surroundings, resulting in a purified architectural concept, which at the functional and symbolical levels connects the new and the old part of the cemetery with the church of St. Marjeta. The new farewell building spatially defines the south and west part of the extended cemetery, of which it forms the southwest corner; but it also stops, in fact changes the direction of the new access route leading along the east border of the  Kotuljka stream through a cypress alley. The church of St. Marjeta with its bell-tower and surrounding walls is gradually revealed through the trees. This reconstruction of the new cemetery access route is closed by a “fresco” with a lily of the valley motif on the wall of the farewell building. The route turns to the front of the building, with the ceremonial facility featuring a well, and  a bench, and under a large concrete canopy which roofs the exterior space devoted to the parting ceremony. The route leads through the walls to the church.