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, Lady of Hope. The woman’s soft curved body is reflected in the building shapes and blue/white colour dominates throughout the building. The light and delicate character of interior spaces flooded with soft light from the transuted roof refers to women’s intimacy.
The front of the building 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 main Passage towards the Chapel of Light, a major opening towards the cemetery space. The walls and ceiling of the Passage area are 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 structure of the building is entirely cast-in-place concrete with some areas of exposed concrete. Exterior cladding includes Arristcraft stone, Indiana limestone, and zinc. The interior materials are mainly marble and limestone.
The building is designed to be energy efficient and embody the principles of sustainability including geothermal system, building envelope upgrades, energy efficient upgrades related to mechanical system and lighting control, water use reductions, interior air quality and sustainable materials.