Silent Dignity

architects Katarina Pirkmajer Dešman, Miha Dešman
project The Renovation of the Funeral Hall, Grosuplje, Slovenia
written by Janez Koželj


The funeral hall, conceived in the sixties in line with the idiom of the times, has been renovated. That idiom lacked the full expression of refined details as a result of the use of reduced and simplified forms. Consequently, the designed hall, located in the park in front of the cemetery, seemed insignificant and bare. Through renovation, the hall has become more comfortable without losing its dignity and character as memorial architecture. Despite its seeming insignificance, the architects approached their task with great respect for the existing concept, adding only what was truly necessary. They improved the ensemble and enhanced it by adding the missing architectural elements, which were carefully chosen and modestly designed. Through re-arrangement, the architects have significantly contributed to the actual funeral ceremony by making the areas more functional and agreeable, and, through simplification, have cleansed it to elementary and bare expression. The transitions between light and shadow help to express the language of stone, wood, glass, the building material itself. The new architecture remains in the background and can be experienced only through touch.