Why Choose a Landscape Architect?
Sunset is about to let you in on a little secret that not too many of our competitor’s appreciate. Have you ever wondered why some columbarium photos just “pop” and “wow”, while others are uninspiring and blah? There is often a misconception by people who have not had much columbarium design experience, that the process of designing a new fabulous columbarium starts with someone drafting up a series of niches in a form that looks attractive. Although this is definitely one way to accomplish the goal, Sunset has come to appreciate over the years that its best designs, with the highest probability of success have started with the landscape. A good design ensures that all elements “fit” together to complement each other, and to achieve this, it is significantly simpler to mold the columbarium to the landscape, than visa-versa.
The challenge facing Landscape Architects has always been to demonstrate to prospective clients their unique abilities to achieve this fit, without giving away their intellectual property. Therefore to some extent, the decision to use a professional architect is like taking a leap of faith. Sunset of course cannot guarantee your investment in a landscape architect will financially pay off, but we can definitively state that this investment substantially lowers the risk of your much larger investment in the cemetery. It is the Landscape Architect working in collaboration with the columbarium designer, that can make the difference between a solitary structure standing lonely in the middle of a field that nobody would pay a dime to be associated with, to a beautiful columbarium garden setting that can become a proud and profitable contributor to your community’s heritage.
With this new insight, see if you can now spot the professional landscape design versus the do-it-yourself approach, and judge for yourself if your community can afford not to use a professional. As with any industry, you have your good, experienced designers, and your not-so-good consultants. Do not hesitate to contact Sunset if you would like some guidance on choosing a cemetery landscape architect that is right for your cemetery.
Why Choose a Landscape Architect?
The use of a well-defined set of columbarium design guidelines is the most efficient way for you to achieve your design goals. The process is most effectively achieved in the following order, however, readers should know that to some extent, achieving a well-balanced design may take one or more iterations of this process:
1. Start your cemetery design based on a Cemetery Master Plan. Investing in a sound cemetery master plan, can be the most financially beneficial decision you can make. The initial investment up front could save enormous amounts of money years down the road. Nothing is worse than being forced to accommodate a former mistake because as we well know, in the cemetery business once the decision is made, it is there for eternity.
A thorough cemetery master plan is also a crucial statistical resource for cemetery operations. Cemetery landscape architects pair interment numbers with demographic research in order to provide cemetery boards and management with solid numbers and statistical projections that lay the foundations for sound decision. These detailed cemetery master plans are the keystone that supports future cemetery operations and provides direction for future cemetery management and cemetery contractors.
2. Define a phase to be developed within the Cemetery Master Plan that can realistically be achieved within the budgetary constraints of your organization. If there is a columbarium style that appeals to you, we encourage you to call us to assist you.
We at Sunset Memorial understand that as a parish council member, civic administrator, or cemetery manager you need to possess a wide variety of skills that may not include financial analysis. For this reason, we have created tools including a columbarium financial calculator that can assist you in the creation of your own columbarium design guidelines. By using this tool, along with Sunset’s knowledge and support, you can significantly simplify what will become the financial boundaries around your project.
3.Establish the development phase’s layout and columbarium floor plan. The beauty of Sunset’s custom design work is that our structures can be shaped to whatever you need. That said, the columbarium floor plan can have significant implications to the overall cost of your project, and Sunset’s guidance
will help you optimize the columbarium’s fit with the landscape design, while minimizing the financial impact of the design.
4. Integrate the columbarium floor plan with the phase’s detailed landscape design. You may possess the necessary skills to effectively do this, however, if you are at all uncertain, you may want to work with a Landscape Architect. Landscape architects have the design knowhow to address:
- grade elevations,
- drainage issues,
- public accessibility,
- visitor engagement,
- expertise in native foliage placement.
- appropriate columbarium layout
- site line limitations
- how to accentuate existing architecture features.
- how to apply color, texture and sculptural form to a space.
- local demographic demands for cremation interment