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DETAIL Prize 2012: Islamic cemetery in Altach
Nominated for DETAIL Prize 2012:
Islamic cemetery in Altach, Austria
Architect DI Bernardo Bader
The aim of the design by architect DI Bernardo Bader for the Islamic cemetery in Altach in Vorarlberg, Austria, is an open and clearly structured concept orientated to Islamic belief, funeral rites and also the understanding of nature and social conditions. An interlaced weave of wall sections of different heights encompasses five burial areas, each with up to 700 graves, as well as a building as part of the overall site. The "finger-shaped" burial fields are each composed of a compactly organised grave area for funerals and a small area to sit down in. The head section of the site accommodates all the necessary functions such as laying-out, washroom for the deceased, sanitary facilities, washroom for persons attending the funeral as well as a storage area. Next to the entrance, there are the areas for communal prayer, an atmospheric inner courtyard and a small chapel. A special feature is a richly ornamented, translucent, gold-shimmering "qibla" wall with prayer niche, which was designed in collaboration with a Muslim artist and relates to the interior in a way typical of Islamic architecture, whereby the opulence of the decoration only unfolds in the interior.