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Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum
Winner - Silver
Designer: Ms. Joan Soranno - Design Principal
Design Type: Architecture
Company / Organization / School: HGA Architects and Engineers
Team Members: Additional team members will be provided if this project is a winner or finalist.
BUILDING THE END Since its founding in 1871, Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis has served as the foremost resting place for Minnesota’s distinguished citizens. Familiar names like Humphrey, Wellstone, Pillsbury, and Walker are found here, among a long list of local pioneers, civic leaders, and art patrons. Governed as a non-profit from its beginning, the Lakewood Cemetery Association recognized the need for prudent planning to ensure its vitality for the indefinite future. Despite the broad expanses of Lakewood’s 250-acre grounds, a mere 25 acres remain available for future growth. To maximize the capacity of the available land, the Cemetery developed plans for a 24,500 square foot, community mausoleum that included burial space for over ten thousand people. Eschewing the traditional vocabulary of most new funerary buildings in the U.S., the mausoleum’s contemporary aesthetic uses natural materials and light to strengthen the relationship between the spiritual and earth-bound. To ensure Lakewood’s pastoral beauty was preserved, three-quarters of the building program was nestled into an existing hillside to minimize the visual impact of the mausoleum while taking advantage of south-facing views to the new garden. At the garden level, stretching east, a single long hallway strings together alternating bays of columbaria (for cremated remains) and crypt rooms (for caskets). The design recognizes that in contemplating death - as in living matters - people have diverse perspectives and desire uniqueness. It respects that in designing a final resting place for ten thousand people, individuality, human scale, and a sensory connection to the natural world are paramount.