Archive for the ‘Pathways’ Category

Places to Pause….

In Cemeteries, Pathways on June 10, 2013 at 10:09 am

Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA

Needed: places to pause, places to rest, places of comfort….


Jefferson Memorial, Jefferson Garden, University of Missouri

In our journeys through cemeteries, we need places to rest…


Newscastle, Northern Ireland

We need human-scaled private places and pathways…


Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA

Materials that relate to us…


Webb School Memorial Garden, Knoxville, KY

Spaces made expressly for the living….Cemeteries provide environments of contemplation- we can encourage that with benches and walls to sit on, landscaping to screen us, vistas to inspire. It’s pretty straight-forward, but current design seems to make cemeteries drop-off and transitory places rather than transformational living places. 




Our (possible) stories, experiences…

In Cemeteries, Pathways on March 1, 2013 at 3:10 pm

How about…


We come bearing rememberances for our loved ones…

We walk through a gate…


And through a beautiful springtime transition…


To come upon those we wish to visit…


How different our stories can be from most of what is pre-packaged as our experience.

Make us comfortable

In Cemeteries, Pathways, Shared space on June 28, 2012 at 8:12 am

You’re inviting us in, now provide us a place to rest, to contemplate….


Simple materials


Simply but well-designed


Restful places


An Ideal Park!

In Cemeteries, Pathways on October 16, 2010 at 4:08 pm


A place to cross paths with others


Copenhagen has done it. Beautifully. In 1760. Assistens Kirkegarden Cemetery in Copenhagen is a popular burial spot for Danish notables, and is also very popular with tourists and Copenhageners.


Refreshing spaces for people


The cemetery is one of the largest open green spaces in Copenhagen, so it is used by many.


Biking and strolling


And, yes, it is a functioning cemetery.


Hans Christian Andersen's grave


There are many, many inviting spaces in this park cemetery…


A private little path


Sunbathing too…


Actually using and enjoying a cemetery lawn



Gravesites that feel fresh


Entering, moving around, leaving – on foot, bike, and skates….




I can’t think of any other cemetery that is used more by the living. There are a number that are used as much, Pere Lachaise is a favorite example, but there are far, far too few of these…yet.


In Cemeteries, Pathways on August 29, 2010 at 10:53 am

We need places in cemeteries for the living to enjoy in order to help transform the places where our dead lie.

We have to invite people into our transformed cemeteries…

West Village Park, Celebration, FL

Shin-zaka Park, Tokyo

Pathway in a pocket park

We have to welcome them….

Henry C. Beck Park, Dallas

And we need to make them comfortable…

A pocket park in Detroit

Sidney Bestoff Sculpture Garden in New Orleans City Park: there is alot of sculpture already in our cemeteries...let's find ways to enjoy it more.

It’s very simple: please, come in and make yourself comfortable and enjoy yourself. Offer your guests a chair, a place to rest and to perhaps contemplate.


In Cemeteries, Pathways, Uncategorized on August 15, 2010 at 11:00 am
Would you be beckoned down paths like these?

Arnhem Oosterbeck War Cemetery, Holland

Or one like this?

Hietaniemi Cemetery, Finland

To come upon someone’s place like this?

Bertolt Brecht's grave, Berlin

Or like this?

Warriston Cemetery, Edinburgh

These are some of the delightful surprises that we can have in cemeteries that are for both the living and the dead.

Here is a great site with pictures of authors’ graves around the world: real and important surprises to come upon:

Now, what would draw you in, what would attract you to an ideal cemetery?

Allee at Marschlins Castle, Igis, Switzerland


In Cemeteries, Pathways on August 7, 2010 at 11:03 am

Via Appia, Rome

These places where our dead are need to engage us. They can be completely enticing, like the Via Appia here – you’re naturally drawn to stroll down this ancient road that was lined with mausoleums and tombs. It beckons.

A garden pathway

These pathways lead you forward and through. And hopefully through beautiful gardened landscapes of plantings, and through memories and thoughts not only of any loved one buried, interred, or scattered here, but thoughts of the rest of humanity here. And mortality.

Mexican cemetery

Cemeteries have to be places for people – or else people aren’t going to be engaged and aren’t going to visit them or experience them.


To be inviting to the living, cemeteries need to be vibrant, peaceful, and most of all, on a living and human scale.

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