Winner - National American Institute for Architects
Winner - Architizer Award

Project details

Before her passing, the woman for whom this cemetery marker was made, left a note for her children to be read after her death. She was chronically ill, and before she passed, she had an extremely tumultuous and difficult life. With nothing material to leave, the note to her children was less of a will than a series of wishes for them. The sole request she made was for her gravesite to be made a garden.

The site for the marker is remote, so maintaining a garden was not possible. Hence, a marker was designed that would capture the spirit of a garden: closeness to the ground, intimacy, and the possibility for

continuity, and growth. The cemetery marker is a series of five cast bronze plates that spread out over the small site, and set at slightly different heights above the earth. The plates permit the churchyard’s grass to grow in between, and as the plates age they oxidize and become green, in a sense joining the grass.

The top faces of the plates are inscribed with one phrase excerpted from the poem “Prologue” written by renowned poet Caribbean-American, Audre Lorde. The difficult life and early death of Audre Lorde were parallel to this woman for whom this marker belongs. The phrase reads: “The children remain like blades of grass over the earth and all the children are singing louder than mourning … and the grasses will still be singing.”


Pennsylvania, USA