The Importance of Cemetery Design

Cemetery Design

A cemetery needs to have a master plan that addresses how the different elements will be incorporated into the property. The plan is a great way to show visitors what is available, as well as help in marketing the property.

Modern cemetery design must think beyond a place to lay a grave; it is a vibrant celebration of life, family, history and individuality. Harboring lands to avoid runoff, introducing forestry alongside burial grounds are examples of this.

Landscape Design

Landscape design is one of the most important aspects of a cemetery. It creates an environment that is both beautiful and meaningful for visitors. It also helps people to navigate the cemetery with ease.

For example, creating scenic vistas with an end terminus like a mausoleum or chapel and an intermediate terminus such as an estate garden or water feature can provide a clear sense of direction throughout the cemetery. Well-designed plantings with appropriate climate, soil conditions and flow are another way to enhance a cemetery’s landscape design.

Cemetery owners should take the time to think about their landscape design in a holistic way, ensuring that the cemetery is both functional and interesting for all of its visitors. Upfront investments in sustainable landscaping such as changing over from asphalt to permeable roads, switching to organic fertilizers and avoiding invasive species can reduce maintenance costs. Similarly, creating natural or man-made ponds can help to control storm water drainage and provide a habitat for wildlife.

Burial Space Design

Burial space design in a cemetery includes all spaces used for interment of caskets, urns and cremation ashes. Cemetery design should be sensitive to the emotional needs of visitors and respect the cultural and architectural context.

Cemetery layout and design can also consider other types of interment products including mausoleums, lawn crypts and columbarium niches. Cemetery layout and design should take into account population trends in your community to best provide interment products to meet the needs of families and friends.

Proper grading is essential to ensure that water flows away from grave sites and buildings. This can be accomplished by designing drainage systems that include subsoil drains, reed bed construction and surface water catch all designs.

Excel is a popular choice for managing cemetery data and transitioning from paper records, but it was not designed to be a comprehensive cemetery management solution. Moving to software like Chronicle, which is purpose-built for cemetery mapping and data management, can improve efficiency, accuracy and overall management.

Monument Design

The monument design process allows bereaved families to commemorate their loved ones in a variety of ways. Each family’s needs and budget are considered. Inscriptions, religious symbols and other details all add up to the final product. Monuments can come in a number of shapes and sizes including the traditional upright monument, slant style memorial or foot marker.

Meisner: Cemetery design should take advantage of natural features on the site. Water features, wooded hillsides or high points are just a few examples of what can be incorporated into the master plan. These unique areas can become the focal point for the cemetery as visitors view them.

Cremation has given rise to a number of new options for cemetery use, including columbaria and interment gardens. These types of burials can utilize less land and are much less disruptive to the natural systems on a cemetery property. They can also be designed to create a sense of place for the community, as well as work with the existing landscape.

Signage Design

Modern cemetery design moves beyond a place to lay a coffin; it must be a vibrant celebration of life, family and history. It must also express a new way of thinking about death and individuality integrated within a community.

Cemeteries with natural landscape features such as lakes and ponds have the opportunity to provide a serene environment that invites connection with nature, families and communities. These features are also opportunities for environmental stewardship.

A cemetery’s master plan must consider all of these factors. Too often, cemetery development obliterates the unique setting to create a typical cemetery like those along every highway outside of cities and towns across America. Instead, we encourage our clients to find a niche in their landscape and be unique with their cemetery. This differentiation will help them attract more people who will want to visit and support the success of the master plan. This can be achieved by implementing a number of cemetery signs to guide visitors, as well as by using interpretive maps with clear, simple language.

Related Posts