Arbour Columbaria at Fraser Cemetery

Established in c.1869, Fraser Cemetery is one of the oldest public cemeteries in British Columbia. Typical of many North American burial grounds, this cemetery began to experience a shortage of space for burials in the late 20th century. Three potential pilot projects were identified that could provide interments at a higher density. After a lengthy review the Arbour Columbaria was selected for design development and construction.

The project consists of a renovation to a very modest 300 square foot building housing the cemetery office and lunchroom, a new pedestrian entry, an underground communal ash vault, above ground columbaria for individual and family interments. These columbaria are framed by an arbour structure, planted with wisteria to create an elongated processional path.

In total, there is capacity for 975 new interments in what was previously an 11’ x 160’ wide strip of unused slope at the edge of the cemetery.

Location: Fraser Cemetery, New Westminster, BC
Client: The City of New Westminster
Completed: 2008
Studio Team: Stephanie Robb (project architect)
Heidi Nesbitt
Andrew McLean
Bill Pechet
Project Team: Pechet and Robb art and architecture ltd.
In.Form Engineering
Partnership Landscape Architecture
Photos: Scott Massey / Stephanie Robb