Children sections are the most emotionally charged places in cemeteries. As everyone in our society agrees, losing a child is worst imaginable grief, so it is particularly important that these places be inviting, thoughtful and well care-for.As is often the case, parents visit a child’s grave with siblings. Often the children are young (pre- school age), bored and not ready to grieve on request. The graves are often adorned with trinkets and toys. Our clients tell us that the combination of toys and boredom lead to objects being displaced, causing immense distress to affected parents.
We have long recognised the need to design children section differently and thoughtfully. This project demonstrates that a meaningful design can achieve this, by providing a “safe and therapeutic” space for accompanying children where they can entertain themselves, write messages to their siblings or grieve in their own way whilst parent tend to the grave.
Symbolically the central tree (a Baobab or bottle tree) stands as the “Mother” and the smaller nearby Beaucarneas (Ponytail Palm) gather nearby as the “Children”. The layout is based on the uncurling tree fern which represents “Youth”.
This garden, in our view, should become a benchmark in cemetery design and is aimed at inspiring other to provide similar spaces.
Children section
Client
Confidential
Location
Confidential
Size 
113 Ha
Consultancy Type
Lead- Small multi-disciplinary team