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Cemetery picks up national award

 Published on: 27th July 2018   |   By: Tim Green   |   Category: Uncategorized

A Jewish cemetery in Bushey has gained more recognition after winning another award.

The United Synagogue’s New Bushey cemetery, designed by Waugh Thistleton Architects, scooped a RIBA National Award, which is given to buildings across the UK recognised as significant contributions to architecture. The cemetery joins a host of other buildings to receive this year’s award.

In keeping with the Jewish idea of being buried very in a cardboard coffin, simple clothes, the buildings carry through the idea of returning the body to the ground “earth to earth, ashes to ashes”. 

The cemetery is surrounded by a tree belt and a series of balancing ponds to capture the increased rain water runoff fed by a clever drainage system.

A spokesperson for Waugh Thistleton Architects said: “We’re honoured that Bushey Cemetery has been awarded a RIBA National Award.

“Every aspect of the building layout and progress through the landscape are in keeping with the spirit of the event.

“The limited number of buildings, the simplicity of the forms and expressionist choice of materials all reflect the symbolism of burial to the Jewish community. 

“This project will be just a stage in the ongoing process of enlarging the cemetery so that the community can continue to honour and protect their dead. 

“The fact that the rammed earth walls of the prayer hall will return to the earth once the cemetery is full and has to be extended again, is a poetic response to the programme for the cemetery and the traditions of the Jewish faith.”

Last year, the cemetery won an international design award at the World Architecture Festival.

Picture courtesy of Waugh Thistleton Architects

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