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Cemetry Extension with Chapel in Batschuns

The chapel walls and the enclosure to this cemetery extension in Austria were executed with tamped clay in a pisé form of construction. The lively surface texture and coloration achieved with this material is contrasted with the minimal, yet remarkably powerful, cubic forms. In combination with the horizontal layering of the clay, a vertical strip of oak in the wall of the chapel suffices to suggest the form of a cross. Light enters via a narrow opening in the roof and via a slit in the wall just above the floor, which relieves the structure of any sense of heaviness. The work was executed in collaboration with the artist and clay construction specialist Martin Rauch (see p.650). The clay, without any additives, was laid in roughly 12cm layers between shuttering and compacted. Precise working, carefully articulated details and the insertion of concrete and steel members in the walls ensure that the building is not of a temporary nature. In view of the slight surface erosion caused by rain, a long life was ensured by minimally overdimensioning the clay walls.

This article is taken out of the following magazine:
DETAIL 6/2003

Simple Forms of Building

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