Halvorson Design Partnership: During the master planning process, which began in the late 1990s, the Trustees of Lakewood Cemetery asked Halvorson Design Partnership to take on the challenge of integrating a large new mausoleum in the historic garden landscape. The result, completed in 2012, is a highly integrated landscape and building featuring a zero-edge reflecting pool, accessible green roof, groves of native trees, and outdoor commemorative spaces.
A new mausoleum and reception center is nestled into the existing slopes of the space. From the street, the building mass largely fades from view with only a 5,500-square-foot granite pavilion visible among the preserved specimen oak trees. (Lakewood Cemetery)
A large central lawn anchors the space and accommodates Memorial Day events for upwards of 350 people. Comfortable, contemplative spaces have been designed around the perimeter for more intimate gatherings.
The new reflecting fountain is a zero- edge pool with a 1” deep “scrim” of water over a layer of pavers on pedestal mounts. When drained in the winter, it becomes an active plaza space.
Mature trees were preserved through air spading, root pruning and shoring with sheet piling in order to build the back wall of the mausoleum. Terraced walls ease the transition between building and landscape and offer opportunities for future memorialization.
The green roof allows the cemetery’s “Lawn Plan” aesthetic to seamlessly extend to a newly created overlook. The union between architecture and landscape is epitomized by the bronze framed earth forms containing skylights to the crypt rooms below.
The Serviceberry tree derives its name from its delicate blossoms, which signified to early American colonists that the ground had thawed enough to dig graves and have burial services. River stones collect runoff to a below grade infiltration system.
The new garden mausoleum at twilight. The low ground plane focuses attention on the powerful mosaic motif around the windows. Exterior columbarium niches are designed between the projecting crypt rooms permitting interment in a garden setting.
Circulation was shifted away from the building to allow for the creation of a series of sacred zones defined by raised bronze or granite curbing.
View from beyond the reflecting pool into one of the exterior “Garden Niche” rooms for memorialization of ashes.
Close attention was given to coordinating views from interior spaces to the landscape beyond. Subtle articulations on the ground plane and a simple plant palette create a sense of enclosure while extending the building’s geometries into the landscape.
A reflecting pool acts as the organizing axis between the chapel and the existing mausoleum. The formal relationship is reinforced by an allée of trees offering a secluded place for reflection. Additionally, hawthorne trees ameliorate the existing outdoor crypt walls.
Quiet reflection on an autumn day.
An invitation to the cemetery beyond, the terraced lawn steps rest undisturbed in the winter landscape.
Landscape Architect: Halvorson Design Partnership
Project Size: 2.5 Acres
Cost: $5,300,000 (approx.)
Location: Minneapolis / Minnesota / USA
Mausoleum Architect: HGA Architects and Engineers | Minneapolis
Historic Landscape Planning: Elizabeth Vizza Consulting
Awards and Publications:
National Award of Excellence | American Society of Landscape Architects | 2013
Honor Award | Boston Society of Landscape Architects | 2012
A+ Popular Choice Award | architzer.com | 2013
Architect Magazine | Cover Story | October 2012