Ortona Cemetery, an addition to the landscape
The extension of the Ortona cemetery, a project realized in 2010 by the architect Giovanni Vaccarini, can be defined as "an addition to the landscape." The new cemetery, overlooking the Adriatic Sea, intends to incorporate the maritime landscape as a real architectural element. Infact, the expansion follows a geometric rigor which revisits, in contemporary terms, the 100% Italian concept of a “bastioned front”.
The project, set to a strong and clear settlement rule, involves the alternation of solids and voids, where the solids are five threadlike buildings connected to each others by a gallery on the first floor and the voids are the views onto the sea. The difference between full and empty is also, and perhaps especially, emphasized materially: the buildings are covered with rough stone, according to a rectangular checkerboard with strong color variations; the paths that lead to the sea views and the vertical distribution elements are treated with plaster.
The layout of the new buildings follows the alignment with the existing fence of the cemetery (where the term "fence" means much more than just a physical limit, according to the symbolism of sacred architecture) and their position is supposed to sew up the altitude jumps of the land.
The new cemetery in Ortona has the silent character of funeral architecture, but it also reveals a strong contemplative attitude towards the landscape, which becomes an element of dialogue with the architecture.
Photo Credits: Giovanni Vaccarini
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