How to Plan a Cemetery

Cemetery Design involves the planning of a cemetery’s layout, architecture and landscape. It is a complex task that requires attention to detail.

The cemetery landscape must be flowing and aesthetically pleasing. It must be designed to minimize maintenance and cleanup. It must also be able to support wildlife and create a tranquil environment.

1. Landscape Design

In a cemetery design, landscape is an important aspect to consider. A cemetery needs to be well-designed in order to provide a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere. It also needs to be environmentally friendly and sustainable.

This can be done by using different types of greenery, incorporating a variety of trees and shrubs, and providing directional signage throughout the grounds. Additionally, the cemetery should include ponds and water features that add beauty to the area and create a peaceful place for visitors.

It is essential to take the time to create a unique and beautiful cemetery. Too often, modern cemetery development obliterates the existing setting in order to create a cookie cutter place. I believe that the public would respond positively to a unique cemetery design that is responsive to its surroundings and culture.

2. Headstone Design

A headstone can be a beautiful way to memorialize a loved one. It can be engraved with their name, birth and death dates as well as other information such as an epitaph or carving. Some families like to incorporate a picture or photo of their loved ones into the design. It is important to consult with your monument company to ensure that the headstone will be in compliance with any regulations adopted by your cemetery.

Another option is to include a symbol such as flowers. Many different types of flowers have a specific meaning and can be used to convey your loved ones personality. For example, a sunflower could symbolize love for your children or grandchildren.

The shape of the headstone is also a factor that can be personalized. Square top headstones are very popular as they have a clean and simple finish. However, if you are looking for something with a slight bit of flair then an ogee top headstone may be the perfect choice.

3. Interior Design

Modern cemetery design aims to go beyond simply marking burial grounds. It is a vibrant celebration of life, family, history and individuality within a shared community. To achieve this, it takes a unique set of design skills.

When developing a master plan, identifying the various program elements and locating them on a site map is essential. This allows the cemetery to identify areas that are amenable for development and create a relationship between these spaces based on functional relationships. It also helps the architect determine if any areas that aren’t suitable for development should be avoided or reworked.

Once a cemetery has determined its programming it is time to start planning. This is where a good cemetery designer comes in, utilizing an understanding of market trends and the demographics of a given population to create an engaging layout that will be well received. This includes the use of aesthetically pleasing, clear and understandable signage to help visitors navigate.

4. Signage

A cemetery’s signage should be clear, easily understood from both a distance and up close. It should also be visually appealing from the road and should complement the landscape design.

Directional and identification signs help orient visitors and are usually located near the entrance to the cemetery or at key intersections within the cemetery site. The LA Group understands that many communities and volunteer groups have limited resources in restoring historic cemeteries. Our team can help them find ways to engage the community, explore grant funding and volunteer development opportunities, to enhance their efforts.

It is important to consider the demographics of your visitor base when designing a cemetery. If you are designing a cemetery to serve a younger crowd, for example, it may be necessary to include more green space and incorporate more recreational features. Additionally, proper grading is an important aspect of cemetery design. This ensures that water flows away from the gravesites and buildings, rather than pooling on the property.

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