Waikumete Cemetery Natural Burial Reserve
Auckland's largest cemetery now includes an area of natural burials which combines an ecological approach to burial with the restoration of a rare habitat type. The gum-land scrub areas of the cemetery are valued for their typical flora and fauna and the new burial reserve provides an opportunity to restore part of this by weed management and replanting of indigenous species. Nick developed the layout from an initial idea to provided for the new burials and the re-planting, hard landscape and buildings that will serve the area. The theme of sustainability and habitat was well developed using sustainable construction, drainage and planting principles. The project won the Cemeteries and Crematoria Collective award for innovation.
Left: The committal shelter is constructed from sustainable untreated timbers and provides a simple space for rest and contenplation. A rain chain leads to a boulder cascade.
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The committal shelter is constructed from sustainable untreated timbers and provides a simple space for rest and contenplation. A rain chain leads to a boulder cascade.
The overall layout of the burials was based on a koru like curved form that provides a contrast to the rectangular grids typical of most cemetery burials
New planting is establishing in the future burial plots along side the path. Sedges and grasses will transplanted at the time of burial and the graves over-planted with indigenous shrubland species.
An artists impression of the area around the proposed committal shelter
The committal shelter is constructed from sustainable timbers and incorporates a rain chain and rain garden, It is seen here from the area to receive future natural burials.
The grass area encircling the gravel path will be used for future burials in a circular pattern around the centre. Revegatation planting is establishing a matrix of gumland scrub which defines the burial clusters.