ST. LOUIS, MO – Mitchell Wall Architecture & Design is proud to announce that its Cascade Mausoleum has been recognized with the 2022 Architecture Awards. Architecture MasterPrize has awarded the mausoleum, located in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, an Honorable Mention in Design architectural.
No mausoleum had been built in the cemetery of Bellefontaine for more than 70 years. Next, a family approached Thomas Wall of Mitchell Wall Architecture & Design to design a mausoleum. They trusted Wall and his process and allowed him to express his creativity without financial or aesthetic constraints.
“Thomas has an incredible appreciation for art and beauty,” said the client, who wishes to remain anonymous. “He has the unique ability to extract, cultivate and realize a vision that goes far beyond simple bricks and mortar. Mitchell Wall misses no detail.”
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Built at a cost of $5.3 million, the structure with a solid concrete core encased in granite panels and blocks overlooks Lake Cascade. Visitors are welcome to sit down, climb a flight of stairs for the view, or admire stained glass windows.
“In all my research, one idea kept coming back: mausoleums are, in general, never built for the living. They are designed to encapsulate a crypt and provide a small space for the mourning of family members. I wanted this mausoleum to be more,” said Thomas Wall, Owner and Principal Architect of Mitchell Wall Architecture & Design. “I designed an interactive building for everyone. It is a space where people can celebrate life while remembering those who have passed away.
Wall developed a 3×3 grid. The elements of man – mind, body and spirit – run from east to west. The Holy Trinity – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – extends from north to south. At each grid intersection, design moments occur.
· The spirit is represented by benches, which allow people to sit down and reflect. Each pew has a thought-provoking biblical quote from the Holy Trinity.
· The body is represented by three doors leading to the crypt, each with a reference to the Holy Trinity.
The spirit is represented by three stained glass windows, each showing an element of the Holy Trinity. At sunset, they light up, casting their colored light into the crypt.
There is also a split in elevation. When someone looks at the mausoleum from the outside, among the trees and plants, he is alive. When the spectator climbs the first staircase, he is in death. They find themselves under an oppressive amount of stone that opens onto a staircase inviting the viewer to ascend. Once up the second flight of stairs, the viewer finds themselves in the beyond, on the terrace and overlooking the cemetery.
December 20 is the client’s birthday, and Wall wanted to celebrate this date in the design of the building. It was calculated that at noon the sun would be at an angle of 27.9 degrees from the horizon. A 32,000 pound 9x9x2 foot granite wall stands at the top of the staircase. In this one, a cross has been cut at this precise angle and functions as a sundial.
On the lower landing, a cross was engraved. Each year, the light passing through the wall and the engraving of the cross align. Beneath the engraving is a time capsule for the family to store memories.
Although there is no name on the mausoleum, there is a carving of a lion standing in front, a symbol the family uses to represent themselves. The lion sculpture is by Abraham Mohler, the stained glass windows are by Emil Frei & Associates, and the construction is by Tarlton Corporation.
The Cascade Mausoleum is registered with the North American Sundial Society as #1042. To learn more about Mitchell Wall Architecture & Design projects, please visit https://www.mitchellwall.com/our-projects/.
ABOUT MITCHELL WALL ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN
Mitchell Wall established Mitchell Wall Architecture & Design in 1976 in response to a growing need in St. Louis for high-end residential design. In 2011, his son Thomas took over the business, which now specializes in residential architecture, commercial architecture and interior design. Projects are commissioned all over America today. To learn more, please visit https://www.mitchellwall.com/.