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Best Project Cultural/Worship: Garden Mausoleum in Minneapolis

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Sited among gardens, benches, winding paths and a reflecting pool, the Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum in Minneapolis is rendered in clean, clear lines that belie the intricacy of its myriad components, which include the textured gray granite and white mosaic marble tile that clad the exterior of the $25-million, 24,000-sq-ft facility.

Photo Courtesy of Paul Crosby
The Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum in Minneapolis is rendered in clean, clear lines that belie the intricacy of their myriad components.
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Each of the 25,799 stone pieces was field-blended and hand set over a period of five months.

Combinations of granite, marble onyx, wood and Venetian plaster finishes within are awash in natural light filtered by six skylights in addition to a series of windows affording views of surrounding greenery.

Dimensioning and installation tolerances were unforgiving, since the walls and flooring conform to a crypt and niche grid that didn't accept deviations in stone sizing. Tolerances were no less exacting for mosaic tiles on exterior radius walls and soffits.

While generating shop drawings, project team members relied on building information modeling to meet tolerances and identify potential clashes among mechanical, electrical, plumbing and structural-steel systems as well as curtain wall, glazing and exterior stone.

Team members also employed BIM to fine-tune design details during construction, with the owner, designer and contractor reviewing updated models on a weekly basis.

To ensure smooth transitions among the building materials, the project's contractor elected to self-perform all required concrete, masonry, building stone, site stone and carpentry work.

Due to the complexities of the design, subcontractors exceeded their typical scopes of work, making clear communication critical among all parties, including boutique companies on hand to perform work unique to mausoleums.

As such, designer and contractor worked side by side with subcontractors to meticulously review all scopes of work, from foundations and structural steel to mosaic tile and bronze finishes.

The completed facility accommodates more than 4,600 niches for urns and 750 casket crypts, including three family crypt rooms.

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