Best Funeral Services Crematory and Celebration of Life Garden
The Phoenix – New York Company
Posted: March 10, 2021 | Projects
There is a saying that life is a journey and death a destination; so The Phoenix – New York Company was glad to have been given the opportunity to design an addition to the existing Best Funeral Services mortuary in Peoria, Arizona. The owner wanted a space that would provide families the ability to grieve, remember, and celebrate those who have passed. The mortuary also required a highly-efficient cremation facility and a shielded delivery point for incoming clients. It was requested that we incorporate sustainable, as well as low impact, building technologies.
Photo Courtesy: Chad Gnant
The area to be redesigned was located at the rear of the existing building. It included an existing carport that was no longer being utilized, and the rear parking lot was like a sea of asphalt surrounded by a neglected landscaped area. Thankfully, we were able to take advantage of the existing trees and incorporate them into a new landscape scheme for the Celebration of Life garden.
The owner expressed a desire to visually connect the exit doors from the existing chapel and the Garden of Memories columbarium across the parking lot from the proposed crematory area.
Our approach was to create a low-key structure with a skin that would unify the newly created space with the existing structure, and fit seamlessly with the existing building. Our concept was a “skin” that would provide privacy, light, texture, simplicity, and, as well, preserve serenity.
This skin was achieved by using perforated corrugated aluminum wall paneling over a steel frame for the new portion of the project, and also sheathing the existing carport. This served to unify these two functional areas. By using decorative aluminum panels in strategic locations throughout the mortuary, such as decorative gates and trellis roofs, we were able to create a rich play of light and shadow. This diffusion provides allusion to various religious sanctuaries and elements essential to the spiritual nature of a mortuary.
The decorative gates worked to repeat a common theme of serenity at both the new pavilion and the Garden of Memories. It also visually tied the two areas together.
For some religions, the witnessing and participation in the cremation process is an essential element of honoring those who have passed on. In recognition of this, the crematory has the ability to open to the pavilion area, which is screened from the parking lot and adjoining properties. There is also a remote switch provided to allow family members to begin the cremation process. With the crematory doors closed, this process is private and sequestered.
The Phoenix – New York Company made every effort to retain project efficiency and sustainability. We were able to repurpose the existing carport structure and landscape. Utilizing the steel and aluminum skin and frame, we specified recyclable materials. All lighting was high-efficiency LED. Special efforts were made to design natural air flow in lieu of mechanical ventilation. High efficiency, low-emission cremation equipment was also specified.
The new crematory and Celebration of Life Garden of Best Funeral Services Crematory provides a unique and memorable venue for that final meeting between the journey of life and the destination of death.
Building Envelope: Petersen Aluminum, Parasoleil Aluminum Panels
Lighting: Luminaire, Hubble
The Phoenix – New York Company
213 East George Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85012
Best Funeral Services, Inc.
9380 West Peoria Avenue
Peoria, AZ 85345
Caruso Turley Scott Structural Engineers
1213 Rio Salado Parkway
Tempe, AZ 85281
GCB Design Services
7707 South Heather Drive
Tempe, AZ 85284
EDC Electrical Consulting
20958 Lost Creek Circle Drive
Buckeye, AZ 85396
Easton Mullen Construction Co.
5635 North Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
Date Bid: Aug 2017
Construction Period: Sep 2017 to May 2018
Site: 2.37 acres.
Total Square Feet: 12,234
Floors: First floor, 12,234; total, 12,234.
Building Height: Garage, 15′6″; first floor, 18′; total, 18′.
Number of Buildings: One.
Basic Construction Type: III-B/Addition/Alteration.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, slab-on-grade.
Exterior Walls: Perforated metal siding.
Roof: Metal lattice.
Interior Walls: Perforated metal siding.