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A sustainable underground crematorium in the Zeist Cemetery

19.02.2021 | Funeral Homes

Trends change, also in the funeral industry. More and more people are opting for cremation instead of burial and the Zeist Municipal Cemetery (Netherlands) has wanted to give that option also to its neighbours with the construction of a crematorium that is sustainable in addition to being underground.

Until now, cremation could only take place in a few nearby towns such as Utrecht, De Bilt or Amersfoort, but now this has changed and this service is already offered at the Woudenbergseweg cemetery.

Ineke Hulshof of Hulshof Architecten and Stephanie Gieles of Studio Stephanie Gieles were responsible for the project, and it is not surprising given their experience in designing crematoria.

The curious thing about the project is that it is an underground crematorium. Building it on the ground was complicated since it is a monumental park. That is why it was decided to build the crematorium partially underground.

Another remarkable aspect is that the new facility is completely sustainable. Due to the municipal ambition to become completely gas-free in the long term, it was decided to opt for an electric cremator.

Crematorium Seats

The new facility has been equipped with Sellex seats. The first rows are chaired by BACK Modular Seating (by Burkhard Vogtherr), one of our most chameleonic seats due to the countless shapes it can compose (linear, zigzag, curved ...) and the many combinations of materials that it allows (the wood finishes with the upholstery, the complete upholstery with the visible wooden stripes ...

Funeral home seating: BACK Modular Seating and SLAM Basic Chair
Sellex Seats in the sustainable underground crematorium in Zeist


In some way, BACK Modular Seating is a reinterpretation of the traditional bench in chapels and churches and, therefore, it is increasingly used as a seat for funeral homes and crematoriums.

Ineke Hulshof and Stephanie Gieles, who were in charge of both the architecture and the interior design, explain that they chose BACK Modular Seating to give the installation a more intimate feel and, above all, because of the possibilities it offers when it comes to adapting the benches to the space.

For the rest of the room, they chose SLAM Basic Chair designed by Lievore Altherr Molina for Sellex. About 75 chairs, with and without arms, with black frames and various upholsteries.

“To be more flexible, we added the SLAM Chair because we could create a very attractive and almost sacred interior with the different colours', explains Hulshof.

Both architects and designers also say they 'really enjoyed working with Sellex', which is certainly reciprocal. It was a pleasure for us to be part of the project!

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