Due to its size, the city cemetery occupies a considerable area within the territory of Košice, for which, however, an adequate forecourt and boarding area has not been realized. With a series of unfortunate decisions, the city sold the plots immediately adjacent to the entrance area, and we can easily call the current situation as pathetic.
The main transport corridor to the cemetery is Cintorínska ul and Rastislavova ul. Cintorínska ul. with its longitudinal green belt it evokes the impression of extraordinary communication, but the fact is that it is led to an unfortunate crossroads. The induced imaginary axis was crossed by a traffic corridor, which also denied the possibility of movement and entry by pedestrians and cyclists.
If the Municipal Cemetery is an extraordinary place of reverence, Rastislavova and Cintorínska ul should reflect this fact, but the reality is different. Few will understand that he has just reached the cemetery.
The central area of the cemetery is dominated by valuable, mature greenery, which literally overgrown. A significant microurbanization principle is a system of strictly defined alleys creating their own microworld.
The main moment of the proposed solution is the creation of a roundabout bringing some positives to the area – a collision-free traffic solution, the moment of slowing down traffic, pointing out the uniqueness of the place.
The cemetery street thus opens into the green island of the roundabout and naturally continues on, creating a distinctive compositional axis towards the main entrance to the cemetery and the cross at the end.
A significant urban and locational element is the foreground, the square. A dignified place that functionally and aesthetically clearly defines the boundary between the universe of the wandering and the survivors. Today, this anteroom is defined by an area of 500 m2, which is extremely disproportionate due to the dimensions of the cemetery (almost 280,000 m2).
The space behind the main gate is strictly defined by the original assignment. The sloping surface of this space is today a large asphalt space without spatial articulation. However, its size and shape are, in our opinion, exceptional and the solution we propose only underlines it. We urbanize the sloping surface with a system of terraces made of white stone, which is in strict color contrast with the growing greenery all around. On these terraces there is space for sitting, relaxing, storing candles, wreaths and more.
At the beginning and end at the cross, a water area is proposed, which, in addition to philosophical understanding, also has urban and climatic significance.
The seating system, navigation, information system and counters for occasional markets – all designed in a unifying white color.
The proposed solution envisages a gradual phasing beyond the assignment of the competition.
It is defined by the original assignment and envisages the creation of a roundabout with a clear entrance to the forecourt of the cemetery and the location of static traffic on the sides. Space for pedestrians and traffic is clearly defined.
The small square is defined by the area of the service building, the central entrance gate and the flower and columbarium shop. The square is designed as a paved area of white stone embedded in sand and four trees in its central position.
In the first stage, the existing buildings would be reconstructed to the extent of the modification of the facades using large-format white, unifying tiles.
It expands the scope of the square in a way that envisages the redevelopment of the cemetery service building and its relocation to the New Building opposite the Ceremonial Room building.
It is a radical solution that fundamentally defines the Municipal Cemetery as a place of rest, stop, piety. It expands the space of the square at the expense of commercial buildings on the right and their move to a new building next to the main entrance and creates additional parking in front. We are aware of the radical nature of the solution, as well as private ownership, but on the other hand we offer a view into the future without compromise.
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Rastislavova street, Košice
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