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Coychurch crematorium

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In Coychurch we met with Joanna Hamilton who explained how they have managed to keep the ‘monumental’ crematorium, built in 1970, up to modern standards. Careful planning and a strong vision has clearly payed off here.

The crematorium is a great example of British modernism – stone walls, flat roofs, free “organic” plans following the contours of the site and a distinct Scandinavian accent (this is clearest in the small chapel).

It was the last design of modernist architect Maxwell Fry who worked with Walter Gropius before the war. There is a clear and present manneristic vision at the root of this design, it is like the funeral process translated into architecture. The essence of experiencing a funeral is transposed into mass, space and tactile experience. This remarcable architecture was made complete with stained glass from the famous Swansea School of Art and this tradition is carried on with subtile additions being made in the present.

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