Launch Slideshow

Fennell Purifoy's Birdeye Cemetery

Fennell Purifoy's Birdeye Cemetery

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/1242354763_0712_AR_Projects_BirdeyeCemetery_01_tcm48-1516987.jpg

    true

    600

    Ken West

    The Committal Shelter overlooks a landscaped wetlands.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/1909980106_0712_AR_Projects_BirdeyeCemetery_02_tcm48-1516988.jpg

    true

    600

    Ken West

    The Welcome Center is on the western edge of the cemetery, forming an arc with views over the grounds.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/1895966353_0712_AR_Projects_BirdeyeCemetery_03_tcm48-1516989.jpg

    true

    600

    Courtesy Fennell Purifoy Architects

    Overall site plan for Birdeye Cemetery.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/296620441_0712_AR_Projects_BirdeyeCemetery_04_tcm48-1516990.jpg

    true

    600

    Courtesy Fennell Purifoy Architects

    Plan of the Committal Shelter.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/1249900460_0712_AR_Projects_BirdeyeCemetery_05_tcm48-1516994.jpg

    true

    600

    Courtesy Fennell Purifoy Architects

    Plan for the Welcome Center.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/570832634_0712_AR_Projects_BirdeyeCemetery_06_tcm48-1516996.jpg

    true

    600

    Ken West

    The Committal Shelter offers seating for up to 20 people, with standing room for up to 50 more, for solemn interment services.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/1044095290_0712_AR_Projects_BirdeyeCemetery_07_tcm48-1517000.jpg

    true

    600

    Ken West

    Glue-laminated superstructures rest on wood columns on the south side, while a board-formed concrete bearing wall offers privacy.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/1196416718_0712_AR_Projects_BirdeyeCemetery_08_tcm48-1517002.jpg

    true

    600

    Ken West

    The board-formed concrete bearing wall shields also serves as a barrier from the nearby driveway.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/1983361556_0712_AR_Projects_BirdeyeCemetery_09_tcm48-1517004.jpg

    true

    600

    Ken West

    Three smaller roof sections make up the overall roof for the Committal Shelter, each consisting of tongue-and-groove decking covered by standing seam metal roofing.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/1041978784_0712_AR_Projects_BirdeyeCemetery_10_tcm48-1517007.jpg

    true

    600

    Ken West

    The back side of the Welcome Center.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/250682396_0712_AR_Projects_BirdeyeCemetery_11_tcm48-1517010.jpg

    true

    600

    Ken West

    The Welcome Center interior offers views of the surrounding landscaped cemetery.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/477878903_0712_AR_Projects_BirdeyeCemetery_12_tcm48-1517013.jpg

    true

    600

    Ken West

    An interior of the Welcome Center.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/1520215867_0712_AR_Projects_BirdeyeCemetery_13_tcm48-1517015.jpg

    true

    600

    Ken West

    Details increase through the Welcome Center building, with livelier spaces deeper within the structure.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/827134288_0712_AR_Projects_BirdeyeCemetery_14_tcm48-1517016.jpg

    true

    600

    Ken West

    The Welcome Center's exterior consists of two types of exterior walls - the board-formed concrete, and this prefinished bronze-colored metal standing-seam siding over gypsum sheathing.

  • http://www.residentialarchitect.com/Images/1988958860_0712_AR_Projects_BirdeyeCemetery_15_tcm48-1517017.jpg

    true

    600

    Ken West

    The Welcome Center is organized around its central entrance canopy (shown at right).

The Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery at Birdeye, Ark., serves as a final resting place for fallen soldiers from the eastern and northeastern parts of the state. Fennell Purifoy Architects, based in Little Rock, Ark., designed three buildings at the cemetery: a welcome center with administrative functions; a committal shelter, where burial services are held; and a maintenance shed for the cemetery grounds. Both primary structures share a common formal language and materials palette, which consists of board-formed concrete, glue-laminated wood framing, and bronze-colored, standing-seam metal siding.

The 4,606-square-foot Welcome Center contains a reception area, offices, restrooms, and a gravestone locator. Visitors enter the Welcome Center beneath a large overhang, which leads them into the building through its austere concrete face. Once inside, visitors can gaze across the landscaped cemetery through the curving glass and metal façade. The building receives shade from a roof that rests on the exterior concrete wall on the entry side, and on timber structural members on the cemetery side.

A main concern for the architects was highway noise from the Crowley’s Ridge National Scenic Byway, which runs just 700 yards away from the committal shelter. As a result, the structure was turned away from the highway; a concrete retaining wall and a row of trees  provide a noise buffer. The open side of the shelter offers views that sweep over a pond to the prairielike landscape of the 100-acre site. The 2,642-square-foot shelter seats up to 30 people under three glulam-supported overlapped roof panels, but has room for up to 30 more to stand, with space for an Honor Guard as well.

For both buildings, the Arkansas climate, which generally places a large demand on cooling, posed an additional challenge. The architects designed large overhangs to provide shading, and sited the buildings to minimize eastern and western exposure. “In this particular case, the width of the windows gets larger as you turn south,” says principal Phil Purifoy, AIA. “We did some sun studies, and the gain in the morning on the east side was pretty intense, so we narrowed the windows there.” The roof slope eliminates the need for gutters and downspouts, and Fennell Purifoy also drove wells into the site for geothermal heat-pump systems.