PANTHEON IN ESPINARDO
In the living, death inspires a mixture of both fear and mystery. Death is a transition from this world to others that are unknown to us, and this transition takes place in the grave. This being the case, graves should be closed forever, as the mysteries they house should never be disclosed. This is a construction whose doors should never be opened even if one wanted to, there should not even be a handle or a lock. The doors should be installed in a way that they mould with the walls. Therefore, the entrances are secret, in the same way that the transition that takes place inside is also a secret.
The volume has two very different situations: one of them as described above, where it is apparently impossible to access the structure. But once somebody shows us the way, we traverse a mass of pure white through swing doors on a huge scale made of layers of glass but whose appearance makes the visitor wonder what material they are made of. When the mysterious black door rotates, it completely transforms the appearance of the building, establishing a very intensive relationship between the inside and the outside. It is easy now to get in. Inside there is not just one space, but hidden places appear in what seems to be a sole space. Access to the graves, once again has to be discovered, as there are no handles or locks, and to do so we have to insert our fingers in the wall.
The other situation is the interior space that has been designed spirally, creating the perception of movement with a clear starting point, the basement, but without a clear end – almost like a metaphor of Death itself. On the upper floor – the third level- a fourth space appears to which it is again difficult but not impossible to enter. The glass planes cut in very slender and unconventional sizes, according to the search of an inexistent reference to scale, are set in the solid white blocks as if they were the veins of a rock. Once inside, with the doors closed, all reference to the exterior disappears. The reference is now vertical and it focuses on the extremely slender spaces between the glass and the walls ending in translucent rocks that in a certain manner produce a feeling of zero gravity in this white and pure space.
Architecture and interior design by CLAVEL ARQUITECTOS
Partners in Charge: Manuel Clavel Rojo / Luis Clavel Sainz
Photography: David Frutos (BISimages)