Landmark project

Thornbury Crematorium

A speculative proposal for a new crematorium and funeral service facility in the greenbelt between Alveston and Thornbury. Designed in response to our own experiences of funerals; the building is a new concept, allowing access to a large communal cafe after the main ceremony.


Deliberate attention has been given to the processional nature of the event. The video below shows the route of the cortege from the cherry-tree lined avenue to the welcoming wall – a sun-heated sandstone wall adorned with climbing vines and decorative ceramic pebbles.

After the ceremony, the mourners exit into a cafe filled with natural light.



Nature informs the fabric of the building, of its structure and of its atmosphere… telling the story of life and death and our relationship to the nature itself, of its importance to us…

Ceramic art by Clare Mahoney, artist engaged on the project.

A columbarium faces the other side of the welcoming wall where the ashes of loved ones can be laid. Aromatic plants in the nearby Garden of Remembrance fragrance the air and the ceremonial building beyond.

The ceremonial hall reflects the roots of a tree, of returning to the earth. The floor curves gently towards the centre but high clerestory windows give views of the treeline beyond.

After the ceremony, mourners can congregate in the cafe which overlooks a wildflower meadow and the wild cemetery beyond.