The cemetery design and planning process is critical to the success of a memorial or funeral center. The final design must be functional and celebrate life and history, while still integrating into the community it shares. The design of a new cemetery is complicated by the possibility of growth, as the grounds may be built up to the city limits, as well as the local zoning laws. Therefore, a thorough feasibility study is necessary for every cemetery design and planning project. The CDS team also provides a costed framework for all necessary studies and planning applications, making the whole process as smooth and efficient as possible.
Developing a master plan can be a daunting process. It is best to engage all the members of the cemetery staff in the planning process, which is typically a team event. The plan should address both the cemetery’s long-term and short-term goals. As always, the final plan should reflect the cemetery’s financial and cash flow needs. This means that certain goals may be delayed or changed as the cemetery develops. Regardless of the final plan, it’s essential to maintain an updated and detailed master plan and a marketing strategy to promote the cemetery.
Proper cemetery design should include landscape features that encourage wildlife and are also an aesthetic feature. Water-tight landscaping, as well as ponds and streams, add distinction and critical mass. In addition to the physical features, a cemetery should have a building for administration and private arrangement rooms. This building should be ADA-compliant and have modern technology, such as spray booths for decorating the vaults and a chapel for funeral services.
Contemporary cemetery design and planning must take into account existing features on the site, such as an abandoned wellhead and a public access road to the north. To ensure a successful cemetery design, LEES+Associates claims to be Canada’s leading cemetery planning and design firm. They won the prestigious American Society of Landscape Architects Award for their work on the Iqaluit Municipal Cemetery in Nunavut, Canada. LEES+Associates designs are rooted in simplicity and locally-sourced materials.
In addition to burial practices, cemeteries have become one of the most toxic landscapes in the world. The toxic nature of bodies and the environmental consequences of burial practices make them the most problematic landscapes of our times. Despite their beautiful aesthetics, cemeteries are also the most polluting environments. Today, more than five million gallons of embalming fluid are used annually in the United States alone. Moreover, the cemetery industry requires constant watering and mowing, while waste materials and pollutants have been found in burial plots.
Traditionally, cemeteries are adorned with evergreen trees to symbolize the everlastingness of the deceased. Graves were placed in any space that looked fitting. However, they always pointed toward the east to show that the dead are ready for the Judgment Day. They also point toward Jerusalem, a common motif of modern cemeteries. A cemetery design should also take into account the historical landscape of a city. The cemetery architecture is a part of its community’s identity and heritage.
As the city looks to revitalize its cemeteries, local officials are eager to create reasons for the public to visit them. In the process, they hope to generate interest and funding to rehabilitate the historic cemeteries. By improving their landscape, city officials hope to achieve environmental and architectural benefits. Hopefully, the project will also change the way the city relates to its past. This is an exciting time for cemeteries in Austin!
Cemeteries reflect a culture, beliefs, and habits. From ancient burial grounds to modern-day lawn cemeteries, cemetery design has evolved and met different needs. Some common types of cemeteries include the garden cemetery, memorial park, and natural or green burial grounds. Pet cemeteries are another common form of cemetery. However, they may not allow burial of non-human remains. This type of cemetery is not as elegant or appealing as the traditional, modern cemetery.
Woodlawn Cemetery is a notable example of cemetery design. Its park-like setting encouraged the freestanding monuments to be placed in the cemetery. This trend was particularly popular after the Civil War. Rich New Yorkers commissioned some of the most prominent architects and artists to design and embellish the monuments. Stained glass, metalwork, and fine art sculpture soon became central to the cemetery landscape. Sylvan Cemetery is planning to honor Rafael Guastavino and his son, Rafael Jr., as well as the work of Samuel Yellin, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and Alexander Archipenko.