Steckborn Cemetery, Switzerland

In the Lindens

Client: Stadtverwaltung Steckborn
Architecture: Stoffel Schneider Architekten
Period: 2002 – 2009
Surface area: 3 800m2
Project-Pdf

The clear shape of the cemetery is a precise complement of its environment. Within the walls, trimmed linden hedges define the burial areas. They are outlining the graves, creating compartments and continuing the idea of the cemetery wall while lightening up its appearance. The garden is a symbol for paradise: the grave as the original garden and hortus conclusus, where the dead can rest in peace.
Espalier rows of linden on the wall of urns embed it to the surrounding concept. Trees in standard form are planted in the gravelled spaces between the graves and buildings. Standing single or in loose groups of two or three, the trees interrupt the strict arrangement of space and give it a new rhythm.
The different uses of the linden represent an ornamental choice, defining space and offering shade. Focusing on only one type of plant for the cemetery’s design marks a strong contrast to the colourful small gardens on the graves. The different varieties of linden refer to the neighbouring city square and its existing linden.  The trees form a bridge between the introverted cemetery and the city outside.