Bispebjerg Crematorium: Respecting the Deceased


Photo: Lina Ahnhoff

With great consideration for the building’s unique function, Bispebjerg Crematorium stands on Bispebjerg Cemetery as a beautiful and respectful gesture to the deceased and the bereaved.

The crematorium at Bispebjerg Cemetery is recognized for its architectural qualities: The building stands out significantly and intriguingly, especially on a spring day when walking along the cemetery’s broad avenue towards the top of the hill.

Amidst a green sea of grass, bushes, and trees, the crematorium sits as a red colossus with tall, slender window openings and courtyards cut into the building’s box-like form. 

It has been noted that the crematorium radiates everything from efficiency to nobility, anonymity, and authority. One could also call it solemnity in brick form.

Both outside and inside, thoughtfulness for the deceased and their loved ones is evident. Inside, Friis & Moltke, the architects behind the project, have worked with mighty doorways clad in copper and large granite floor surfaces. 

The four furnaces in the cremation chamber are also shaped in copper. The floor is covered in planks of elm, originating from trees that stood on the site before construction began.

A challenging start

The construction of the crematorium at Bispebjerg had a difficult start. The original architectural competition was won by three architecture students with a project described by the judging committee as ‘innovative’ and ‘a forthcoming landmark’ not just in Denmark but also in Europe.

However, the winning proposal turned out to be very expensive, and it was not possible to build a chapel in connection with the crematorium.

In 2000, a new competition was announced, which Friis & Moltke won.

Near Bispebjerg Crematorium

Take a stroll in Bispebjerg Cemetery and enjoy the evergreen nature. Visit the Dance Chapel, a former crematorium transformed into a beautiful dance venue for children and young people. Outside the cemetery, you’ll find Grundtvig’s Church, which with its unique tranquility and beauty is definitely worth a visit. Did you know, for example, that the church is formed entirely of a single material: hand-carved, white-yellow bricks made of Danish clay.


Copenhagen, Nordvest


Friis & Moltke


Center for Kirkegårde

Landscape architect

Peter Sørensen Aps




N. H. Hansen & Søn A/S