A little over a year ago, I was asked to design a columbarium for a local church. A columbarium is a structure with recesses in the walls to receive the ashes of the dead. I’d never worked on a project of this type and did not know much about columbaria but was honored to be selected for a project that would have so much importance to so many people.
After several meetings and design reviews, here is the final design. And as is often the case, this design was revised further but the intent of the design stayed the same, clean geometrical lines and the use of “old world” materials. The color palette selected for the hard surfaces were gray/green with accents of salmon. The plant floral color selection was limited to white, red and purple which mirror liturgical colors. One of the challenges is the integration of this space into an existing 1970′s era minimalist brown brick building.
The construction work began early this summer.
We excavated several truck loads of dirt so as to create positive drainage from the buildings.
Then, the forms were built. The concrete was poured, the joints troweled and finished with a broom finish between the troweled bands. Later, we will come back and sand blast the surface providing a more interesting texture and cut the glare from the light gray concrete.
In keeping with the “old world” look, I selected a Belgard slate gray paver with a textured surface and undulating edges. Using a saw, we were able to achieve a graceful curve. Something that we could not have achieved with a guillotine type cutting device. This particular paver has the look of a blue stone.
Once the joints were filled with sand, we came back and used a polymer sand to seal the joints. The polymer sand also has a blue gray color which only aids in bringing out the blue gray color of the pavers.
After spending hours on the design, it is very fulfilling to see it go from a vision on paper to rising out of the ground in three dimensional form.