Friedhofsgärten Burial Traditions Garden

Friedhofsgärten Burial Traditions Garden

Norderstedt, Germany
Project Year

Friedhofsgärten Burial Traditions Garden

ANNABAU as Landscape Architects

The gardens, exhibiting burial traditions, are located on a former garden site with a beautiful tree population. The recurring exhibition entry of grave cultures, which is part of every Landesgartenschau (Regional Garden Show), has been re-interpreted showing gardens of all five world religions: Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Christianity. These gardens are experienced as sculptural objects but also aim to raise interest in the different burial traditions.

In Jewish tradition eternal rest is achieved by an inhumation burial beneath a horizontal gravestone which is oriented towards Jerusalem. Instead of decorating the grave with flowers, it is common practice to bring pebbles to the grave. In the exhibition garden the orientation is strengthened by a tactile relief in the light concrete surfaces. The visitor can alter the garden's appearance substantially by placing dark pebbles in the sculptural cavities.

In Buddhist culture the body of a deceased person is burnt and its ashes collected in a Stupa-like urn within a family tomb. In the Buddhist garden wooden Gorinto figures stand compactly side by side on a steel pagoda pyramid. The rusty steel curbs and the reddish gravel surrounding the scultpure represent the color orange, which is considered holy in Buddhism.

In Hindu Belief the human 'Spirit' has to be disembedded and liberated from the human body after death. This is achieved by a ritualistic cremation of the dead body on a stack of wood, preferrably on the river of Ganges. A bleached white wood sculpture mirroring in shallow water indicates this Hindu tradition.

In Islamic tradition, people are encouraged to spend their money on the poor and needy rather than expensive grave monuments, giving mostly calm and nature-oriented burial places. The body is laid down on its right side looking towards Mekka, beneath a slightly culminated ground which is marked by a stone. This tradition has been emboddied by silky waves of grass enclosed by steel kerbs. These waves are oriented towards Mekka. The surface of the synthetic resin-based gravel paths, cutting through the grass, is mimicking the movement of the ground which strengthens the orientation.

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