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Ronda de Dalt funeral home, Barcelona

Within the new generation of funeral homes that have been created in Barcelona after the liberalisation of this service in 1996, perhaps this is the most modern, in both concept and functioning. Without doubt, however, it is the most spectacular in terms of its placement.

Situated beside the old cemetery of the Horta district, in an area with very uneven terrain, the building conceived by Ribas & Ribas, and produced with the collaboration of the technical architect Imma Ribas Folguera, has three visible floors and another two larger basement floors, which contain services and car parking space, appears compact and simple. Even though the architectural and urban elements surrounding it are very diverse and irregular, this piece, very visible when driving along the Ronda de Dalt, is characterised by two horizontal strips supported by cylindrical blocks that cross the building. In reality, it is a white parallelpiped, with clean edges, only interrupted by the large windows with panoramic views across the city of Barcelona and the side openings that light up the vertical circulations.

The elegance and simplicity of its lines provide slenderness to a property of clear rationalist spirit, which provides two great viewpoints over Barcelona, from which one can see the silhouette of Carmel and make out the sea on the horizon. Behind the windows and the area for circulation are the 20 wake rooms and two ceremony halls, one of which, on the upper floor and which can be subdivided into three rooms, connects with a gardened terrace, facing the Collserola hill range.

Looked at from the outside it is a sober building, of clean lines and emphatic horizontality, where the quality of the marble panels emphasises its minimalism. The interior spaces are open-plan, welcoming, always open to light or the gardens designed with a touch of the Orient, in which the public and the private areas are clearly differentiated.

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