Sunday, April 17, 2016

HGA Architects: Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum, Minneapolis

I was perusing the list of this year's AIA Institute Honor Awards, full of buildings either boring or awful, when I found myself staring at this. This is a mausoleum, the sort of depressing place where one's loved ones rest in drawers, but I like it.

It is just the sort of building that I would like to see more of: not brutalism or Bauhaus or bland postmodernism, nor just a copy of some past style. It has enough decoration to be interesting in a clearly modern form. At least in these photographs it has the quiet, meditative feel one would like to see in such structures.

The inside is nothing special, but neither is it offensive, and the designers worked hard to get natural light into every space.

A strange choice for a blog post, I know, but I so rarely see anything I like win an architecture award that I wanted to bring it up. See, I don't hate all contemporary architecture.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

Reminds me of your typical "upscale" doctor's office/bank lobby/hotel foyer/etc. No clue how this won any sort of award, unless they have a special category specifically for mausoleums and such, but I guess the reflecting pool is what sets it apart from the thousand other "luxury" buildings of this style.

On that note, how much do you imagine slabs must go for at this mausoleum? A quarter of a million, minimum? All to stuff your pickled dead relative in a concrete box that will never be opened except maybe in a few centuries to perform forensics or to move the remains to a new location because the old one is being torn down.

Frankly I don't see the appeal - grief counseling would be vastly cheaper and far more of a comfort for the bereaved, and then you get to spend the remainder of the $250,000 on something more worthwhile.