Prato Crematorium

Prato, 2012 (Breschistudio Associati)

Alberto Breschi, Claudia Giannoni, Matteo Cecchi





I cremated my father a day in February 2007. It was a luminous day, one of those surprises that the month of February often gives us. The clear sky and the hills surrounding Florence seemed to announce the arrival of Spring, which soon would herald the rebirth of life. In this atmosphere I was almost relieved, but a few moments later, upon entering the crematorium to carry out the procedure in a closed and narrow space, with a miserable equipment resembling the heater of a condominium, the prevailing feeling was that of a desperate loneliness. That was the day the project for the crematorium began. In the silence of those brief moments which condensed a turmoil of sensations, quite extraordinary in terms of intensity and involvement, I thought how much better the whole affair would have been if it had taken place in a different environment. A few essential elements: making the relationship to the outside more direct and participative so as to unity with the gaze both the outside environment, nature, a field, a tree, with the furnace of the crematorium, shaped as an archetypal, mysterious and symbolic object, like Kubrick’s parallelepiped, and finally, in the interior, an isolated place from which to assist to the procedure without extraneous presences, in the attempt to give a sense to the turmoil of thoughts. The fire, the mystery of death, the return to nature, rebirth..