The enlargement of the Gubbio cemetery is the result of studies of a
new model of public building.
The plan is in an urban structure consisting of linear stereometric
blocks arranged in such a way as to reflect the rural layouts that
characterize the surrounding landscape and the near medioeval city of
This concept of urban settlement is emphasized by the inclusion of
large square enclosures designed to be open spaces that provide the
structure with spatial rhythm.
These spaces were inspired by James Turrell’s Skyspaces and are
designed to be enjoyable public areas, independently from the
cemetery, offering an opportunity to pause and reflect. These are cubic
“squares of silence” having open ceilings that evoke windows open to
the sky.
The sky thus framed opens the mind to the reign of the invisible,
allowing sight and thought to abandon Mother Earth’s gravity and
acquire a more aerial and spiritual dimension. At the same time,
opening to the sky, it re-interprets Leon Battista Alberti’s window, a
window that is like a threshold, imagined by the great Renaissance
architect as the only architectural artifice able to “instil the
peacefulness” evoked by the celestial void that, descending from
above, takes us back to the imperturbable state of the soul without
which overcoming the adversities of life is impossible.
The atmosphere of these “Squares of silence” is made more
suggestive by a series of permanent site-specific artistic installations
that capture the changing effects of light and shadow from dawn to
dusk. These installations were created by two important Italian artists:
Sauro Cardinali and Nicola Renzi, with whom collaboration began
during the initial stage of the project.
This contribution, strongly linked with architecture, helps to define a
new space for silence and meditation within the city.



Structure: reinforced concrete
Cladding: Travertino Romano Stone
Surface: 6000 mq

Andrea Dragoni

Enlargement of Gubbio Cemetery by Andrea Dragoni in Italy won the WA Award Cycle 23. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.

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Alessandra Chemollo