The Mausoleum, located in rural Ancaster, Hamilton, is Phase 1 of the development of a cluster of 3 buildings that will house 3,800 crypts. The concept of the building addresses the issues related to the mourning ceremony, the spiritual character of space, and the relationship to the site.
The plan of the Mausoleum is symmetrical with major elements located along the north axis. The curved organic shape of the building evokes a feeling of the environment as well as the patron of Mausoleum St. Mary. The woman’s soft curved body is reflected in the building shapes. The front is highlighted by a cantilevered concrete canopy raised on both ends in a welcoming gesture. Moving from the cantilevered entry canopy, the mourner passes through the Interior Gate along the south main Passage towards the Chapel of Light, a major opening towards the cemetery space. The walls and ceiling of the Passage area curved out, creating a visual invitation toward the exterior Garden, bringing the feeling of hope in mourning ceremonies.
The dramatic break of the building along the central axis horizontally and vertically along curved skylight refers to the journey from death on earth to hope of life in God’s Kingdom. The flood of light at the Chapel and Garden becomes part of the new life.
The culmination of daylight in the Chapel is controlled by a wood structure acting as a support for skylight and of louvered system. The continuous skylight system along the central axis and along the side corridors provides soft diffused daylight appropriate for the sacred nature of the building.
The structure of the building is entirely cast in place concrete with some areas of exposed concrete; front porch, exterior and interior round columns and the canopy along the south walls. Exterior cladding includes Arristcraft stone, Indiana limestone, and interior materials·are mainly marble and limestone.
The building is designed to be energy efficient and embody the principles of sustainability.