Funeral Home & Crematorium, with Memorial Garden & Columbarium (design phase)

This funeral home was designed for a fragile, very small village near one of Vermont's growing commercial centers. The residents were concerned that the structure fit in with the farmhouses and church that lie near the site. At the same time, I wanted to honor the ritual of cremation, which tends to be a bit industrial in the United States.

The design is based on the New England connected farmhouse type, with smaller functions in the front of the building. The larger spaces (for the funeral hall and crematorium) are located in the back, in barn-scaled structures.

The building shapes and is shaped by a series of three memorial gardens: a four-square scattering garden in the front, a cloister-like columbarium that functions as a peristyle in the center, and an axial garden in the back that serves as the entry court to the crematorium.

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© copyright Sandra Vitzthum all rights reserved | photography © copyright Carolyn Bates all rights reserved