What We’re Building

A Beautiful Modern Building

The building design and materials echo the industrial heritage of the area.

It will be a modest building – about the size of two and a half tennis courts and just one storey high. A large picture window in the ceremony room will frame easterly views across the landscaped gardens. A ‘saw-tooth’ roof will flood the building with light.

Walls will be timber clad with brick footings. However, some areas (around the chapel window for instance) will be clad in an alloy called Corten that weathers down to a rust colour. The roofs would be covered with zinc.

Mourners will gather in a comfortable waiting room – no standing outside in the winter waiting for a service. From there they will enter the beautiful ceremony hall equipped with the latest technology so you can pick the music you want and organise video tributes and web casts.

The coffin will rest in the centre of everyone’s view, against the backdrop of a large picture window, with an outlook onto grassland and trees.

The southerly wing of the building will house offices for our staff, an area for funeral directors to wait and, of course, the cremator room.

Memorial Gardens

The memorial garden will be an attractive series of walks and spaces for quiet contemplation and remembering.   Colour, form and texture are the guiding principles, with soft flowing grasses interspersed with pools of colour from a unique spread of herbaceous ornamental flowering plants. The gardens will be a blaze of colour during the spring and summer and provide forms and textures during the winter.   Individual Corten memorial pillars will be set within the planting.

Working with the local branch of SANDS (the Stillborn and Neotatal Death Society), we have designed a special memorial garden for infants and babies.   This will be open to all grieving parents.   It will be entered through a rose arbour, guiding visitors around a spiral path and into the memorial space.  A colourful herbaceous border lining the spiral path will have dedicated areas for placing memorial stones, seats for reflection and stepping stones allowing you to choose your path into the garden.   It will culminate in a central memorial Corten tree on which families can add a leaf in memory of their loved one.

A birch grove will be under planted with spring bulbs and, combined with the rose arbour, allow filtered views to the memorial garden and creates a sense of being in your own space whilst still feeling connected to the broader suite of gardens, grassland and woodlands.

Horizon is promoting other sites in England, Scotland and Wales, including this one at Cannock.


The Landscaped Setting

The site is currently home to a wide variety of bats, birds, invertebrates and plants. We will leave most of this untouched other than to improve the habitat through careful management and by planting occasional native trees and shrubs.

The existing drainage ditch and marshy area will be enhanced to create an ephemeral wetland and swale swathed in reeds, specimen shrubs and willow trees.