The Resting Gardens of Berkhamsted

Download Submission Pack Composite Theme Submission

Bench Numbers:
Estimated Hours Taken:
All benches would use similar materials (except for the felled oak seat) to minimise cost and maximise efficiencies in construction. - Timber: Cedar, Oak or Larch. Natural wood (hardwood) is durable, highly sustainable and ideal for exterior uses. Also adds warmth and texture to the proposed seats. - Concrete: recycled concrete aggregate mix with natural yellow pigment additive. In addition, all wood used in the in situ concrete cast should be recycled and reused whenever possible.
Ground Preparation:
Minimum ground excavation would be required to build the shallow concrete foundation for the seats concrete base.
Fixings / installation:
Concrete seats and timber canopies would have shallow concrete foundations and timber/wood would be mechanically fixed to the concrete base.
Concrete is a very robust materials that would require minimum to no maintenance.

Timber would have to be treated to prevent rot due to sun-exposure and moisture. However, using hardwood or dense oily wood has a high resistance to decay. Adding a good finish treatment to the timber could extend the time for additional care up to two years.

Reducing the proposed materials to two main products (concrete & timber) would certainly reduce the cost of the design by making it more efficient. Both materials are robust and could be outsourced locally reducing the transport costs as well. By reusing and recycling materials, the proposal looks to minimise the impact of the scheme on the environment as well as reducing the cost of production.
About your theme:
The Resting Gardens of Berkhamsted serve as an athenaeum of local community: a shared heartland where memory, reflection, remembrance, history and understanding are celebrated and interlaced with contemporary society.

A place for the future, enriched by the past.

The cemetery is reimagined as a new social space for Berkhamsted, bringing together local historians, passers-by and community groups alongside relatives of those interred.

This space is conceived as a series of moments, united by colour and material, that offer a comfortable place for pause. Arranged to open up vistas through and the site, these moments provide opportunity for gathering, contemplation and delight - while celebrating the long rich history of Berkhamsted.

Additional lighting is proposed to further encourage new uses of the space, activating hitherto underutilised areas of the cemetery. Thirteen light-posts are to be installed, in recollection of the thirteen heraldic bezants emblazoned upon the Berkhamsted Coat of Arms.

New routes can be formed through and across the site, each seat helping to unlock the potential of their setting. In this way new uses can be discovered, new practices formed, and the future success of the Gardens is assured.