CIMITERO DI SAN CATALDO
Via San Cataldo - 41100 MODENA (MO)
  
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Source of photograph: IBC Servizio Beni Architettonici Ambientali, foto Riccardo Vlahov
TYPE:
• Religion
• Funeral architecture

LEGAL STATUS:
• Property of Town of Modena

PLAN AND CONSTRUCTION 1978 - 1983
• Aldo Rossi

The first projects for the Cemetery in Modena date back to 1971. In 1972 Aldo Rossi and Gianni Braghieri won a competition held by Modena City Council.
Initially, it was conceived “as a structure of bones, a city of bones made of inhabitable bones” .
Aldo Rossi wrote: “'Together, all of the buildings read as a city in which the private relationship with death happens to be the civil relationship with the institution.
Thus the cemetery is also a public building with an inherent clarity in its circulation and its land use”.
Today, the element of the great “chimney”, the architecturally and symbolically strongest sign of the building, is still missing. This structure is considered one of the true masterpieces of Italian and international contemporary architecture and is one of the buildings that have contributed to a strong division between modern and post-modern culture.
In the project report for the competition, Aldo Rossi wrote that “'Together, all of the buildings read as a city in which the private relationship with death happens to be the civil relationship with the institution. Thus the cemetery is also a public building with an inherent clarity in its circulation and its land use. (…) The references to the cemetery are also found in the architecture of the cemetery, the house and the city. The monuments here are similar to the relationships between life and the factory in a modern city. The cube is an abandoned or unfinished house, the cone is the chimney of a deserted factory”.
The most important part of the drawings for this project is kept at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

The cubic form of the Cemetery in Modena, with the regularity of the windows without frames and the structure of a house without floors and a roof, looks like an abandoned house.
Of the planned project, only the cube that contains the ossuaries has been completed and is situated at one end. These two elements have a defined form: a cube and a cone that houses the chimney. Together, all of these buildings, the cone, the cube, the triangle in osteological form, the perimetral edge, read as a city.

How to get there:
By car: A1 motorway Modena nord exit, Pirandello ring road (tangenziale) exit 11
By bus: line no. 2 from the railway station, line no. 5 from the bus station

Public opening hours:
From Monday to Sunday, 8.30 - 17.00

Useful information:
Telephone: 059.334103
Web site: http://www.significantcemeteries.net/significant/m

Sources:
Laura Montedoro, La città razionalista, modelli e frammenti: urbanistica e architettura a Modena 1931-1965, RFM, Modena 2004
IBC Emilia Romagna, Quale e quanta - architettura in Emilia Romagna nel secondo Novecento, CLUEB, Bologna 2005


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