Holy Trinity Cemetery of Recoieta
Teodoro Fernandez Larrañaga
Ignacio Zañartu (Collaborating Architect)
Julio Poblete Bennett
The Holy Trinity Cemetery is an extension of the old Catholic Cemetery of Recoleta. Inspired in Saint Agustine’s City of God, the Project was conceived as an actual city, with a structure based on a succession of cloisters connected by arcades surrounding a central park, with an access level which connects this structure of courtyards to the valley of Santiago’s landscape. The Project takes from the Mediterranean burial tradition, based on horizontal niches covered by marble plaques. It is thought of as a solemn and dignified space, where the notion of community is favored over the individual, a place which is clean of any personal exultation seeking to express our equality facing death.
From the ancient times of the first Christians that certain civilizations begun performing their burials in walls. The roman catacombs are considered the iconic beginning of this tradition which has withstood more than two thousand years. This burial mode is based on the concept of dignity of the body and of the human being, establishing a relationship with the deceased which is both solemn and present, thus locating the bodies in front instead of below. The Catholic Cemetery of Recoleta has maintained this tradition since its beginnings, and now that the cemetery is being renewed and extended it seeks to do so by continuing this ancient tradition.
This project has actually renewed within the city of Santiago one of it´s old traditions which by today had been almost completely abandoned, mostly because of the wide offer of Park Cemeteries, which are very popular. We are confident that this project will continue to establish a different approach to burials.