Monument of Body Donors

  Monument of body donors © Mayr

The Institute of Molecular and Cellular Anatomy (MOCA) at the University Hospital RWTH Aachen (Prof. Dr. med. Rudolf Leube, Prof. Dr. med. Andreas Prescher) turned to the former Department of BILDNERISCHE GESTALTUNG (Prof. Prof. Thomas Schmitz) of the Faculty of Architecture at RWTH Aachen University for the design of a body donor monument. The design refers to the existing path on the grave field at Westfriedhof II, adapts it only slightly and concentrates on two art objects - a stele and a bench made of blue stone. The stele consists of a square blue stone monolith with a lead crown and bears the inscription 




("in death we serve the living")


The lead crown takes up the material symbolism with lead as a symbol of mourning and works with the contrast between the dark blue stone/lead and the white lead oxide. The temporal change of the object through the increasing weathering becomes the determining element here. The lead oxide is to gradually cover the four sides of the stele by means of targeted gutters. The bench consists of two blue stone supports and a seat made of larch wood planks that can be used from both sides. The support facing the stele is a parallelepiped in the upper side of which a circular water surface is embedded as a bird basin. The objects are lined up along the central axis of the existing one, with the bench marking the center of the path and the stele the end point of the path. The currently central circular widening of the path as well as the round setting with concrete blocks are to be removed in favor of a linear continuation. The objects are each given a concrete foundation with an invisible base plate, which is frost-proof and piled at 80 cm below the upper edge of the site. The force-fit connection to the blue stone elements is made frost-proof with stainless steel threaded rods and two-component-glue. 

Contact: Thomas H. Schmitz und Frieder Scheuermann

Project duration: 2016-18