From workshop to funeral home: A renovation project for an industrial warehouse previously dedicated to vehicle repair, now repurposed as the town’s funeral home in Villaviciosa de Odón (Madrid).
The project by EXarchitects and Nicolás Gutiérrez Pérez, with the collaboration of Manuel Ocaña and Miguel Molins (Fast and Furious Office) in the overall execution and development.
The project involved the conversion of an industrial warehouse, located between dividing walls and formerly used for vehicle repair, located in the industrial estate of Villaviciosa de Odón (Madrid). This setting seemed at first incompatible with the proposed program by the owners: a funeral home, historically associated with serene and reflective places of worship.
One of the primary project aims was to transform this fully industrial building into a place where one could escape this hectic and dynamic context, seeking a space of fellowship and companionship. The warehouse allowed for work in both plan and section, thanks to its proportions and its significant clear height, which was enhanced by the subtle presence of skylights bringing light into the room and which would become the seed of the new project.
The proposal is conceived as the juxtaposition of light transitional elements that, through the effect of compression, play with spaces to produce atmospheric and phenomenological effects. These new forms arise from a broad horizontal base, three meters high, and project towards the roof in various directions, taking on a pyramidal geometry where light is introduced. This creates a new suspended topography that attaches without causing any interference between the pre-existing layers: the roof and the floor.
The building is organized around a vestibular area that runs the entire length of the warehouse, ending in a landscaped space—a viewpoint—that overlooks the town’s agricultural fields. This long foyer facilitates access to the funeral home’s public spaces and is articulated through a series of connected pyramidal skylights that compress and decompress the space to encourage relaxed interaction among visitors. Through this, you can access the two viewing rooms and the chapel— the centerpiece illuminated by three large pyramids—with mortuary services located in the basement and offices on the first floor.
Each of the viewing rooms is structured around two distinct yet converging spaces. On one side, a large meeting area, covered by two large pyramids, welcomes the deceased’s family and friends, encouraging conversation. From here, tangentially, one accesses the funeral home’s more intimate space, illuminated by a smaller pyramid, where visitors can say their goodbyes and view the coffin, hidden from the initial view when entering the room. In this case, the pyramid of the mound where the deceased rests is inverted, dropping at its central point to produce a slight touch, reminiscent of Noli me Tangere, invoking the transition.
In conclusion, the funeral home project incorporates the design of almost all the furniture that shapes the space. Thanks to the trust placed by the owners, this has enabled the realization of a comprehensive project in all its aspects and scales.
First and foremost, we wish to thank the owners for their trust in our project team and their invaluable guidelines—backed by over 30 years of experience in the industry—which have enriched the design and execution phases. It has been a genuine luxury to have clients like you.
Similarly, the collaboration with Fast and Furious has been essential to ‘work magic’ and ensure that an ambitious project was executed exceptionally in just four months. Additionally, Manuel and Miguel’s contributions have been crucial in decision-making, fostering a close, active, and fruitful collaboration vital for the project’s execution, design, and conclusion.
Likewise, we thank the engineers for their partnership throughout the project, essential for designing all facilities and ensuring regulatory compliance and the legalization of the new activity.
Lastly, we note that this project is the result of a professional, loyal, and close collaboration between all parties involved, to whom we express our profound gratitude for their work.
Project Name: spAFH
Design + Project: EXarchitects + Nicolás Gutiérrez Pérez
Production / Construction / General Magic: Fast and Furious Office
Engineering: Zoarat Engineers (Fernando Gil)
Client: Funeraria San Sebastián Year: 2022 – 2023
Type: Corporate Architecture Location: Villaviciosa de Odón (Madrid)
Photographs: ImagenSubliminal (Miguel de Guzman + Rocio Romero)
“De lo Virtual a lo Real”
En EXarchitects somos arquitectos, expertos en arquitectura paramétrica, modelado 3d e infografía. También desarrollamos proyectos de escaparatismo y escenografía.
Nos encanta diseñar mobiliario, luminarias y desarrollar productos. El control del proceso nos parece esencial, por lo que utilizamos herramientas de diseño paramétrico.
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