This project is a 100 year master plan for the expansion and beautification of Vancouver’s only public cemetery. Closed to new interment since the mid 1980’s, the cemetery was running a large deficit and had begun to lose its trees, and its historic curbing, projecting a feeling of abandonment and neglect.
In collaboration with PWL partnership, Landscape Architects and Harris Hudema Consulting, we worked with city staff and a host of neighbourhood and stakeholder groups to reinvent a new direction for the cemetery, where enhanced interment opportunities and significant aesthetic upgrades were proposed.
The plan involved isolating 12 distinct neighbourhoods within the 106 acre site, and designing unique elements within each to give these zones a strong an individual character. This strategy was conceived to avoid the monotonous landscape which typifies most modern North American cemeteries and to anticipate the varied needs which the impending baby boomer generation may require as they begin to pass away.
The plan hinges upon the creation of multiple connection routes so that these areas could be experienced in a series of sequences. Rebuilding a lost stream bed became one of these armatures, creating a site long element, “natural” and not, to become the spine for thousands of new interment spaces.
Additional interment capacity was also proposed through the development of above - ground columbaria which can replace perimeter fencing and hedges as well as redundant roads.
In all, our team found over 100,000 new potential spaces where interment could occur. The project won awards from both the American and Canadian societies of landscape Architects.