18-10-2005

Finisterre cemetery in Galizia.
César Portela

César Portela,

Spain,

Churches & Cemeteries,

The idea behind the project
Capo Finisterre demands (at least from me) an object of architecture that is an extension of the landscape, that dissolves calmly into nature, almost as if it did not exist. How can these architectural demands be applied to the design of a cemetery for this place?



Finisterre cemetery in Galizia.<br> César Portela The proposal is for a cemetery made up of small constructions grouped together along an existing route following the slope of the hill, without any fences, with the ever-present expanse of the sea in the background.
Renunciation of fenced-in spaces and elimination of borderlines and walls means that the usual means of identification of a particular space will not apply. How can we overcome this difficulty? By using other references and establishing other forms of borders. Specifically, those characterising ancient Celtic burial places: the sea, the river, the mountain, the sky.

The image of the cemetery is the image of a path crossing through a cluster of houses, a snake winding around the mountain slope to the sea, adapting its motion to sudden changes in the land. Along its route are the tombs, big boxes set into massive geometric blocks, evoking the huge granite forms sprinkled on the flanks of these ancient hills: some of them stop at the bottom of the slope, where the land is flat, and the implacable wind and waves chisel their forms. The project imitates the way nature produces its own architecture, but it also reflects the way the local inhabitants produce theirs.

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