The Water Pavillion Memorial Chapel

Big doors closed to the water garden

Big doors open to the water garden

The project site

The new chapel is nestled between the 1920's church and the 1970's mausoleum

The new chapel is nestled between the 1920's church and the 1970's mausoleum. Lawn to the active south, water to the quiet north.

Front facade opens to the lawn

Entry

Travertine detail

The bronze pivoting screens

The Loggia

A decaying leaf is a screen which creates dappled light

Queen Elizabeth in shroud at her father's wake

The Water Pavillion Memorial Chapel

Oakland, California  2012

Mountain View Cemetery, designed by Frederic Law Olmstead in 1863, occupies 226 acres in the heart of Oakland, California.

The changing demographics of the Mountain View Cemetery’s customers require a different kind of architectural experience than that currently offered by the existing historic chapels.  For many of cemetery’s clients, the Anglican nature of the Gothic Chapels is at odds with their Buddhist, Hindi, Jewish, Muslim, Atheist or other cultural and ethnic identities.

In 2012 Trachtenberg Architects was engaged to design a new memorial chapel at the center of this important historic site.  The proposed site plan shows the surprising and sensitive way in which the proposed building is set between the existing 1920’s historic Gothic Chapel and the 1970’s Outdoor Garden Mausoleum – its radial geometry given by the relationship of the new building to the grand fountain at the entry to the cemetery. The chapel for 300 people and space for receptions and dining. Approaching from the south the new building presents a dignified and stoic backdrop for the historic Gothic chapel. Viewed from the north, from within the confines of the mausoleum, the proposed building is more active and provides a sense of closure and completeness for the 1970’s mausoleum structure.   The existing reflecting pool to the north is enlarged to create a contemplative backdrop to the new chapel. The south façade opens to a broad terrace and garden space.  The building will be clad in cleft cut travertine stone with 14-foot tall corten steel shutters creating a kind of veil between the intimate experience of the interior and the outside world.

The project has won Zoning, Design Review, and Landmarks approvals. Construction is slated to commence in the Spring of 2013.

Cutsheet for Funeral Home at Mountain View Cemetery

Owner: Mountain View Cemetery
Architect: David Trachtenberg, Isaiah Stackhouse, Robert Nishimori, Neven Krickovic
Engineer: Yu Strandberg Structural Engineers
Landscape Architect: SWA Group