The history of the building at the crumbling Church of St Roch at Ulbeek in Limburg dates back to the thirteenth century. The De Wyngaert architecture office has transformed it into a place of remembrance and contemplation with a burial area, a columbarium and place of silence. The neo-Gothic volume of the church was restored. In the choir, the foundations of earlier churches have been exposed as archaeological remains. A light glass roof and ambulatory, raised above the archaeological ruins, catches the eye in the dark, roofed space of the burial area. Here, black metal tables, each bearing two gravestones, are arranged symmetrically on a white gravel floor. There is room for forty graves. The rood loft and alcoves at the side can accommodate twenty-one urns. In the evening, the entire space is bathed in the light, an effect achieved by built-in LED lamps of varying intensity. The four high, regular arched windows are a particularly striking element in the volume of the church, and extend down towards the floor like open slits.
Author: Caroline Voet. This text has been published in the Architecture Review Flanders N°11. Embedded Architecture.