Modern cemetery design includes a wide range of amenities. It connects with families and communities, invites reflection, and provides options for every personality.
Developing a master plan for a cemetery is a critical first step in improving its landscape and amenities. Providing good signage is also important to help people navigate the grounds.
A cemetery needs a master plan to guide new development and manage existing space. The LA Group’s master plan can include not only analysis and design of physical improvements and expansions, but can also assess and recommend opportunities for generating funding for the project through outreach to the community for participation and fundraising ideas.
A master plan can help a municipality save money on maintenance costs in the long run. For example, upfront improvements like transitioning asphalt graveyard roads to permeable ones reduce chemical runoff that damages stones and requires costly repair. And planting native grasses instead of decorative turf helps lower mowing expenses.
The LA Group is familiar with the sensitive issues surrounding a historic cemetery and will help to bring the community together for discussions that honor the past while looking to the future. These discussions can help generate a sense of shared ownership and responsibility for the cemetery. This can lead to renewed interest in the cemetery from living families and an increased commitment to care for the historic site.
Design for Accessibility
The layout of a Cemetery should include clear pathways so that visitors can easily navigate the grounds. This will help reduce confusion and prevent accidental trips into gravesites. The Cemetery should also have proper grading and drainage to prevent water from pooling on the property. This will help to keep the Cemetery safe and clean for all visitors.
Many cities are struggling with space for burial and this cemetery design is one way to solve the problem. This’skyscraper cemetery’ has slots for multiple bodies and can be filled as people die.
This cemetery is different from the usual gloomy and somber graveyards because it has bright spaces and relaxing benches. This makes it a place that even children would want to visit. It also has a meditation grove and beautiful gardens that provide a sense of peace for the mourners. Modern cemetery design should follow the spiritual trend as well as the form and function in order to be meaningful.
Design for Beauty
In today’s world, cemetery design has moved beyond a tranquil place to lay a grave. It must celebrate life, family, history and individuality – all integrated within a shared community. This unique perspective requires a different kind of know-how.
Cemeteries are home to some of the most beautiful architecture in the world, exemplifying a wide range of cultural approaches to death. Some like the Merry Cemetery in Romania take a lighthearted approach, while others such as Pere Lachaise in Paris evoke a sense of peace with a mixture of modern and ancient monuments and styles.
The rural cemetery movement of the 19th century exemplified beauty with lush grounds, careful park-like landscaping and carefully crafted gateway elements. These features helped to set the cemetery apart from the gridded cityscape and create a special place of beauty and solace for visitors. The Blogett Gateway and Betcher Chapel are two examples from this period of time. Other decorative features include fountains, gazebos, carillon towers, prayer gardens and flag plazas.
Design for Sustainability
Cemeteries are part of the landscape, a vital piece of our natural environment. They are also a place of burial, a culturally sensitive space for remembrance.
As such, a cemetery has the potential to deliver ecosystem services and form a significant component of green infrastructure networks. This potential needs to be reflected in planning policy for cemeteries.
An important challenge is to ensure that the delivery of cultural ecosystem services does not compromise the primary function of a cemetery: the hygienic and culturally appropriate disposal of human bodies. This may require a more nuanced understanding of how different faith and cultural groups experience the rituals and practices around death.
Providing sustainable cemetery options that are a cost effective alternative to traditional burials can help with this. For example, the green burial option combines an environmentally responsible approach with the space efficient concept of maximum burial to save on land costs and maintenance expenses. Similarly, the use of shrouds instead of caskets can reduce the amount of burial material that is needed for each burial.