Barth & Zaugg - Switzerland
Abdication Hall
Rosengartenweg, Aarau
1966 - 1968

Originally it was intended to enlarge the funeral chapel of the old crematorium, which was built by Albert Froelich in 1921, to contain 350 instead of the original 110 seats.
But since no one of the expansion variants was satisfactory, the proposal for an additional building working as abdication hall with adjoining rooms was approved.
The new building, designed by
Barth & Zaugg, had to be connected to the existing construction, as a consequence an orientation to the south resulted.
The full glazing of the outer walls creates a close
relationship between the interior and the beautiful cemetery park.
The building is surrounded on all four sides by a forecourt, which allows free gathering of people
before the abdication.
The new funeral chapel can accommodate up to 500 persons, when the lobby is used as well. On the east side of the building spaces for office

and secretariat of the cemetery administration are arranged. On the opposite, western side there are located lounges for pastors and relatives. Internal and external stairs
lead down to the columbarium and the toilets in the basement. The conception with two independent abdication halls (old and new), now enables an optimum
condition to the various major events.

The basement has been constructed as a concrete structure. The visible one-storey pavilion consists of tubular steel props and full profile beams with a free span of 21.6 m.
Above this primary support structure there are secondary beams and a self-supporting profiled sheet ceiling. Externally, the building is enclosed by a curtain wall in stainless steel
and green tinted fixed glazing. Internal venetian blinds are used for shading.

At the beginning of 2000s, the building was in a precarious condition. The green glasses were blind and the roof was leaking. The city council requested the demolition
because they considered a new building to be more cost-effective than a rehabilitation. Additionally the great funeral chapel was used only about 30 times per year.
However, the residents council resisted the demolition, and in 2006 it was decided in a vote of the Aarau city population to rehabilitate the building.
In this renovation especially the technical equipments were renewed and the insulation value of the facade was improved. In addition,
the organization of the interior has been adapted to today's conditions.