Client: The Church of Sweden in Gothenburg
Landscape architect: Sweco Architects
Designer: Thorbjörn Andersson
Date Completed: 2019
Dating back to the end of the 19th century, Askim’s church has been updated with a contemporary memorial grove for the internment of ashes. The new memorial grove is a place for reflection and a space for remembering those we lost. The church is situated on a hill with the new memorial grove constructed at the bottom of the slope. The memorial grove is an extension of the existing cemetery.
The design for the memorial grove was chosen from among those submitted during a competition for developing the new site. The memorial grove creates a welcoming, well-designed atmosphere in a spot that was not previously considered to be a viable part of the overall site.
The wall enclosing the memorial grove was made like a classic cemetery wall. It provides a sense of privacy and promotes calm. The grass terraces, the site for ceremonies, the water feature and the stone wall are key components in the site.
The Origami park bench is crafted in a shape inspired by origami, the Japanese art of creating objects by folding sheets of paper.
The Origami sofa has a high back that is reminiscent of a church pew, made in an enveloping shape that gives a feeling of security.
According to Thorbjörn Andersson, a landscape architect from Sweco Architects and head of the project, the site was designed with two ambitions in mind. The site should offer comfort in times of mourning and be beautiful enough to symbolise paradise on Earth. The seating and products chosen for the space reflect these ambitions, contributing to a quiet, secure and beautiful atmosphere.
‘I think it’s important to choose furniture based on the site and the feelings experienced in the space,’ says Thorbjörn Andersson,’ rather than on the need to be met. With its high backrest, the Origami park bench is reminiscent of a church pew, but also an enveloping shape that creates a feeling of security. Origami is the name of the Japanese art of folding paper and the sofa’s crisp angles resemble folds in a sheet of paper. In the front, the wooden slats continue down to the ground to hide the base. In the backrest, they rise upwards so that those seated are not seen by those behind them. The Origami bench is a piece of furniture that brings a sense of calm to the space.’