How to Design a Cemetery

Cemetery Design

Cemeteries have a unique place in our society, they are a meeting ground between the living and the dead. They are also fraught with a multitude of issues.

From crime to historic preservation, social class to religious traditions, cemeteries represent a toxic tangle of priorities that often clash.

1. Site Planning

When designing a cemetery, site planning is an important component of the design process. This includes understanding the topography, drainage, vegetation, climate, utilities, zoning, adjacent land uses and other aspects of the site.

In addition, it helps to understand the culture and history of a property and how it may affect the way in which the cemetery is used. This information can help a designer to create the perfect landscape that harmonizes with the environment and fits within the context of a site.

2. Master Planning

A master plan is an essential planning process that allows a cemetery to identify long and short term needs, map overall strategy and goals. It also helps develop a realistic and logical implementation plan.

A master plan is an evolving document that can be revised and updated as needed. This will allow your cemetery to serve your community well into the future.

3. Theming and Layout

A cemetery is a place where people can remember, pay tribute, and honor those who have passed away. They can be a burial ground for a particular family, community, or religious sect.

Theming and layout are important aspects of cemetery design that can affect the overall look of a burial ground. It can also make it easier for people to find their way around.

4. Designing the Burial Ground

Cemetery design is a complex issue. It combines the needs of those who visit and memorialize with the desires of those who have already passed.

The burial ground is the foundation of a cemetery and provides a framework for its memorials. It is also a public space that offers opportunities for interaction and comfort.

5. Designing the Entrance Gate

The entrance gate is a very important feature in cemetery design. It adds aesthetic beauty, as well as safety and security.

Entry gates can be designed in a variety of ways to suit the needs of the cemetery. They may be simple swinging metal gates or decorative fence structures that help to define the entrance area.

In addition, the entrance gate can include signage that is compatible with the overall architecture of the facility. This is an important feature for a national cemetery as it is often the first destination that funeral attendees and visitors arrive at.

6. Designing the Gates

Gates serve as the main means of directing traffic and controlling access to a cemetery. They may be swinging or sliding metal gates or decorative fence structures.

Typically, entrance gates are located along the approach road. They should be set back to create a safe entry area and have vertical curbing above to protect the turf or plantings.

7. Designing the Entrance Arch

The entrance arch is an important part of any cemetery design. It helps create a strong and memorable first impression for visitors.

Entrance arch designs can be modern, rustic, or inspired by the theme of the property. They also feature materials such as stone and wood.

8. Designing the Headstones

Headstones are the most common form of marker used to identify a grave site. They usually contain information about the deceased such as their name, birth and death dates, and a quote or image.

A headstone can also be designed to have small personal touches that will make it a more unique memorial. This can include a special artwork or a meaningful quote that the deceased or next of kin wanted.

9. Designing the Monuments

When designing a cemetery, one of the most important things to consider is the monuments. These can come in many shapes, sizes and styles and can be designed to display specific personal details or heartfelt inscriptions.

Upright monuments are a popular option and are typically crafted out of granite. This material is very durable and strong.

10. Designing the Memorials

When a loved one passes away, it is natural to want to commemorate them in some way. This can be a beautiful and meaningful way to remember and keep their memory close to your heart.

Memorials can be simple flat grass markers to more detailed upright monuments. Each style can be designed to reflect your specific needs and preferences.

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