green-wood, tranquility garden columbarium

Brooklyn, NY | 4,600 SF | 2006

The design of Tranquility Garden involved a tight site, located within the constraints of an existing horse-shoe shaped configuration of burial urns. The adjacency to both the 1911 Warren & Wetmore Historic Chapel as well as the Modern Chapel presented formal design challenges, as did the striking landscape and greenery of the cemetery. Finally, as the Asian community were the predominant users of the columbarium, we wanted to be sure to include details and aesthetics that were considerate of an eastern aesthetic and eastern cultural traditions.

PBDW designed a series of glass and stone enclosed pavilions in a semi-circular shape that integrated the surrounding landscape and provided an expressive identity for the new complex, while also complementing and linking each of the surrounding, existing structures. Using the axis of the modern chapel as a defining benchmark, we worked with a Feng Shui consultant to create a naturalistic, inner courtyard pond, connecting the sides of the pavilions with walkways through the pond and featuring a glass obelisk in its center. The memorial obelisk anchors the space and emulates the forms of the burial sculpture in the surrounding cemetery. The design of the columbarium allowed for the addition of more than 9,000 added funerary niches to the cemetery.