“There is perhaps no more important place for the arts to have an impact than at cemeteries. Creative designs based on a deep understanding of the needs of the grieving and the stories of the departed make an enormous difference in the lasting impact and relevance of a cemetery. In order to be relevant to their families and communities, cemeteries need to create spaces and memorials designed to appeal to families, not to groundskeepers.” -Pat McNally, the Daily Undertaker
The headstones from this two acre cemetery in British Columbia had been removed over 40 years ago, some of them had been dumped in a ravine, some had been used for patio stones and a retaining wall – as sacrilegious as this may seem. The task of the architects, LEES + Associates was to repatriate those stones to the cemetery site, but in the absence of accurate records, they weren’t able to definitively say where each headstone belonged, therefore they decided to incorporate them in to a series of walls. That process found inspiration in the history of the institution’s cemetery and even more so: the stories of those who lived there.
Most people think of cemeteries as something cold and formal. Something you may need, but wouldn’t necessarily get excited about. Here is a very personal, human and quality cemetery design.