The Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum, designed by HGA Architects and Engineers
, which offices in the North Loop neighborhood of downtown Minneapolis, has earned a National AIA Honor Award. Designed by Joan M. Soranno and John Cook of HGA, the 24,500-square-foot mausoleum is buried into a hillside at the historic Minneapolis cemetery, yet was designed to maximize daylight. Clad in rough-textured gray granite and white mosaic-marble, the modernist structure's materials palette continues throughout the interior.
The entrance to the two-level mausoleum opens into a foyer and reception center with white marble floor, folded mahogany walls, and large window walls and clerestory windows. The windows provide views to the oak trees and sky, nearby Lake Calhoun, and the cemetery’s iconic chapel and monuments. Daylight through the window openings also accentuates the curves and angles of the white, sculptural ceiling.
A wide stairway processes past the foyer’s large windows and limestone wall to the lower garden level. To the west, a curved Venetian-plaster wall guides mourners to the chapel where committal ceremonies are held. The chapel's nine, deeply angled vertical windows bring in daylight. Embedded in the angled juxtaposition of the chapel's curved ceiling and wall are light slots, from which soft light emanates.
Extending east from the stairway lobby is 180-foot-long corridor connecting alternating bays or pods of six columbaria rooms (for cremated remains) and six crypt rooms (for caskets), in addition to three family crypt rooms. LED light slots every 20 feet highlight the floating ceiling planes. To the north, the chambers are inserted into the hillside. Each has a round oculus or rectangular skylight positioned in the sculptural planes of the ceiling. To the south, the crypt rooms and columbaria project into the cemetery’s landscape. Window cutouts or glass doors bring daylight in, while providing views to the historic landscape.
The mausoleum is the second National AIA Honor Award earned by Soranno and Cook. It's the fifth National AIA Honor Award for HGA.