The Garden Mausoleum is located within Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota and it was designed by HGA Architects and Engineers. The building was developed in order to protect and enhance the cemetery’s historic landscape.
The Mausoleum entry is guarded by trees and the entry’s chiseled clerestory windows and canted recesses hint at the building’s interior functions and complexity, while reducing the structure’s visual heft. The visual effect is enhanced by water, so that the building is reflected into the lake, showing an image upside down, which, together with the green lawn, create a relaxing effect. The Garden Mausoleum entrance at street level represents only a small fraction of the total building mass, and includes a reception room and lounge, a small business office, and catering facilities. A full two-thirds of the building lies below, tucked quietly into a south-facing hill and overlooking the lower garden. The place is all mosaic, arcs and granite masses. The contrast of textures – light and dark, rough and smooth, rustic and refined – touches both visual and tactile senses.
The large glass doors allow natural light to flood the space and to enlighten visitor’s souls. The building also contains a small chapel for committal ceremonies, which offers a contemplative space, ensuring a high degree of privacy for grieving. The Mausoleum is indeed an architectural monument, with grace and vitality.