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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Mortuary in the field in Cartagena, Spain by Martin Lejarraga Architect

 
September 19th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Martin Lejarraga Architect

The commission of the Mortuary project starts with the location and management of a plot to raise the building. The property, an insurances company of local and regional scope, wanted to strengthen its customer base with this kind of facility in the area in which it concentrates his operations: the North of Cartagena, between the towns of ‘La Palma’ and ‘Pozo Estrecho’, in the surroundings of the Field of Cartagena and the ‘Mar Menor’ sea.

Image Courtesy © David Frutos

  • Architects: Martin Lejarraga Architect
  • Project: Mortuary in the field
  • Location: Cartagena, Spain
  • Photography: David Frutos
  • Situation: ‘La Palma’ Industrial Park. 30593 Cartagena
  • Client: Servicios Funerarios del Campo de Cartagena, S.L.
  • Project: 2007 – 2012
  • Built: 2013
  • Builder: Sanimar S.L.
  • Technical Architect: Manuel Moreno
  • Structure: Idee. Eduardo Díez
  • Consultant: José Aº Martínez
  • Const. Manager:  Marco Carselle
  • Plot Area: 1.844,00 m2
  • Built Area: 1.047,40 m2

Image Courtesy © David Frutos

  • Budget: 550.000 € (VAT excluded) 525 €/m2
  • Structure: Foundation: isolated slabs Reinforced Concrete pillars 25 x 25 cm Waffle slab 30 + 5 cm, recoverable coffers 80 x 80 cm Cantilever, concrete slab 16-20 cm
  • Walls: Ceramic brick. Thickness 1 foot
  • Façade: Mixed mortar, scraped finished
  • Interior: Painted plasterboard, ceramic tiles 15 x 15 cm, lacquered wood, tinted wood
  • Floor: Terrazzo micro grain 40 x 40 cm
  • Suspended Ceiling: Plasterboard, thickness 13 mm
  • Ext. Framework:  Thermo-lacquered aluminium 20 microns
  • Glazing:  Double glazing 3+3/cavity 12/3+3 mm
  • Inner Woodwork: Medium Density board. Stainless steel ironwork
  • Curtains: Textile: cotton; metallic: aluminium links
  • Furniture:  Pine wood plank 40 mm, tinted
  • Trees: Grevillea robusta

Image Courtesy © David Frutos

That was how everything started and how I learned the first lesson of work: nobody wants a mortuary in their neighbourhood.

After many attempts to purchase available plots at different locations, in a drift that progressively and inexorably leads us away from the nearest and accessible places, we just finished in the industrial park.

There, we selected an interesting plot: well proportioned and oriented, and strategically located, open to the general parking area and green zone of the industrial park, in which we could hardly distinguish small artificial stone benches and some scattered cypresses, that no one had noticed, but they add land value to us.

Image Courtesy © David Frutos

The second lesson was to identify and interpret the location codes, an industrial site made of constructions, that despite their different condition and activity scale -production, exhibition, storage, commercial, etc.-, had some common patterns that gave the whole a strange and complex discrete continuity.

Image Courtesy © David Frutos

We had the third lesson learned in advance, fit the budget to the limit of viability. With this objective, we adjusted the building functional scheme to minimize it, with the consequent surfaces reduction and the achievement of an accurate and abstract construction.

Inside the building, the continuity provided by the white colour and natural light in its different orientations is qualified by the different size and proportion of successive spaces and textures of the materials that define them.

Image Courtesy © David Frutos

Designing and constructing all the furniture in the chapel, was more than a lesson a double challenge: to design, in addition to a bench, the set of pieces that form the symbolic and functional elements of the liturgy (the cross, the communion table, the lectern, etc.), and do it with a single system and material: pine wood plank, that in different combinations, allows us to solve an connect all parts of the room.

Image Courtesy © David Frutos

How to recognize the building in the distance against a backdrop of exotic signs was the last lesson: we support the sign on the top of the facade and cut it out against the sky, no doubt this was the best way to distinguish it from a distant point.

I bet Ed Ruscha himself would have liked it…

Image Courtesy © David Frutos

Image Courtesy © David Frutos

Image Courtesy © David Frutos

Image Courtesy © David Frutos

Image Courtesy © David Frutos

Image Courtesy © David Frutos

Image Courtesy © David Frutos

Image Courtesy © David Frutos

Image Courtesy © David Frutos

Image Courtesy © Martin Lejarraga Architect

Image Courtesy © Martin Lejarraga Architect

Image Courtesy © Martin Lejarraga Architect

Image Courtesy © Martin Lejarraga Architect

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