Star Tribune photo by Tom Wallace
Designed by Joan M. Soranno and John Cook, vice presidents of HGA Architects and Engineers (HGA), the Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum is a breakthrough concept in funerary architecture, a serenely minimalist building nestled into a hillside overlooking a reflecting pool in a garden-like Minneapolis cemetery.
Soranno was the Star Tribune's 2013 Artist of the Year.
It was given a national 2014 AIA Honor Award for Architecture, top recognition in the field. Nearly 3/4 of the 24,000 sq. ft. building is concealed in the hillside, yet the white interior is suffused with light from skylights and south-facing windows. The exterior is clad in gray granite and the entrance surrounded with an abstract mosaic in white-marble.
This is the second AIA Honor Award won by the Soranno-Cook team and the fifth for the HGA firm. Prevous AIA Honor Awards went to HGA's designs for the Bigelow Chapel at the United Theological Seminary in New Brighton, MN (2006; also by Soranno and Cook); the Colonial Church of Edina in Edina, MN (1980); New Melleray Abbey in Dubuque, Iowa (1977); and Saint Bede's Priory in Eau Claire, Wisconsin (1967).
The Garden Mausoleum has won 26 additional awards including the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design National Honor Award, and the IIDA Best of Competition Award.
See a Star Tribune video of Cook interviewing Soranno here.