Designed for the living and dead, cemetery design can be an essential part of the overall landscape. Today, green elements are being integrated into cemetery design to improve environmental quality, regulate soil erosion, and provide habitats for small animals and insects. Some cultures believe that the dead have conscious minds and can sense their surroundings, making the use of green elements an essential part of cemetery design.
The first step in the design process is to identify existing restrictions and opportunities. It is necessary to identify existing property boundaries and list encumbrances, easements, and intergovernmental agreements. You should also be aware of any existing trees and other plant life. Make sure that they fit in with the overall look and feel of the cemetery.
Designing a cemetery requires due diligence and solid construction drawings. After identifying the location and site, the cemetery owner should develop a cemetery program statement, which includes the types of burials and mausoleums, as well as cremation needs. The plan should also address vehicular and pedestrian circulation, parking, and main entrances. Depending on the cemetery’s specific needs, cemetery design may need to be updated to address future growth.
The LA Group is a preeminent cemetery design firm with extensive experience and a reputation for excellence. With a team-based approach and exceptional ability to meet deadlines, they are able to design and build projects that are as beautiful as they are functional. Their experience includes hundreds of veterans’ cemetery projects throughout the country. Their expertise in cemetery design is combined with their knowledge of landscape architecture and economic development. They serve as an important partner in the revitalization of communities by focusing on critical needs.
In the Italian countryside, an ancient necropolis was renovated by Andrea Dragoni in the Apennines. The architect used travertine to build the new addition. This allowed him to emphasize the cemetery’s volumes while maintaining a strong abstraction. The design also includes courtyards that provide public space. It also features a square skylight inspired by James Turrell, and site-specific art.
The design also takes into consideration the amount of parking in the cemetery. In winter months, minor amounts of snow are pushed to the side of the road and hauled to the Public Works compound, south of the cemetery. In addition to parking, all parking areas should incorporate small amounts of snow storage. Adding a pit-type toilet structure in the large parking area near the Gathering Place is also a good idea. This will accommodate both day-to-day visitors and larger special events.
Some cemeteries are older than the city, so the city may not have municipally run a cemetery. In these cases, residents might not have much money to invest in the redesign. However, investing in sustainable design could pay off in the long run as it will save them money in stormwater expenses. The city could also choose to pave fewer roads, which would also reduce their cost. Further, the addition of native grasses would require less mowing, which could potentially save the city money.
Good cemetery design adds value to the land. Burial plots that are located near park features or scenic views can command higher prices. The design of a cemetery can also help the city to maximize its revenues. The City of Sun Memorial Park, for example, sold new private estates before construction began, which paid for nearly half of the cost of construction. The park then began to see returns almost immediately.
The final design should also take into account the existing alignment of the grave blocks. Proper alignment is essential to avoid problems such as occluding grave blocks. Considering the number of cemetery blocks, the plan should maximize the layout and the number of grave blocks in the cemetery. This plan also minimizes the need to relocate graves to match the curvature of the roadway.
Cemetery design has evolved as time goes by. In the late nineteenth century, the movement towards urbanized cemeteries spread. For example, the Mount Auburn Cemetery was designed to create open spaces and a sense of permanence. Another example of urban cemeteries is Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. It is a 478-acre site that offers tours by trolley or walking.