Sunset Hills Cemeteries and Mausoleums, Flint, Mi. were preparing to build a new structure on their grounds. The founders in the 1920's had built an architecturally beautiful Mausoleum with a limestone carved exterior, which was approaching capacity. The owners had many contemporary ideas they wished to implement and they took great care to work with leading architects to plan the new building. A plan was initiated for a 17,200 Square foot T-Shaped Structure, with clerestory windows to admit natural sunlight to the interior space.
The structure was perceived as a light filled, structure of grand but comforting scale. The owners, followed the example of their ancestors in taking great care and responsibility for the cemetery. As way of showing their pride in their community as well as reinvesting in the same community, they commission high quality local artists and craftsmen whenever possible.
There was a wonderful symbiotic relationship amongst the board members, architects, interior designers, floral designers, stone masons, craftsmen, landscapers and workers. Everyone was excited by the innovation and by the individual abilities each contributed to the team. The new building would have Italian marble walls & floors, Glass mosaic scenes on the interior walls, granite exterior walls and limestone panels of carved bas relief angels. While walking the grounds, I was impressed by all the natural beauty and noticed wedding parties posed by professional photographers on the hillsides of overflowing flowers and mature trees. The owners wanted youthful somewhat modern angels with uplifted, thoughtful expressions, which I agreed was fitting. I laid out the maquette of the first angel. Inspired, I incorporated a bouquet of lilies to symbolize spring, suggesting that each of the four angels could represent the four seasons. I awaited their response. To everyones delight the concept reinforced the theme of nature and seasons which they had chosen to appear in the landscape mosaics on the interior walls.
The new building was to be called Sunrise Mausoleum, however the following statement appears on their literature; The Chapel of Angels name was inspired by the four original stone angels gracing the exterior. Each of these Angels carries flowers representing one of four seasons. Evidence that a good team full of artistic ideas can transform emotions and thoughts in addition to changing perceptions of visual spaces.
Share Via Email
CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.