SWBR Architects designed the new 70,000 GSF Christ Our Light Mausoleum. The three-story building houses 5,400 caskets and 2,000 cremation remains, and features a central chapel that is capable of accommodating 150 people for services. Our primary challenge was to provide a serene, respectful and reflective environment within such a large mausoleum. From the outset, the dominating themes of the building were connection to outside gardens and “light as inspiration.”
Connections to the cemetery grounds were made in all major and minor spaces through the use of wall and floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing uninterrupted views of the cemetery. These windows also bring an abundance of natural light deep into the building. Finishes throughout the building reinforce garden themes. A warm, white Botticino marble is the primary wall finish. This selection reflects natural and artificial lighting throughout the mausoleum.
As with any sacred space, it was recognized that lighting would be very important in the mausoleum. Due to the highly reflective marble surfaces throughout, special care was paid in designing alcove wall-wash lighting. Along with natural lighting provided from multiple points, the final environment is uniformly lit and glare-free. The soaring space of the central chapel, with its wood trusses, wood ceiling and multi-directional clearstory windows, has a wonderfully warm and calming effect. The resulting effects of light in the building were so strong that the owner ultimately chose Christ Our Light as the building name.
Winner of Rochester Chapter AIA Citation of Merit Award
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