New Mausoleum at Lakewood Cemetery Features Seven Balanced Doors from Ellison Bronze
New Bronze Doors Usher Visitors into Healing and Peaceful Setting
Ellison Bronze, Inc., the inventor of the balanced door and today’s leader in providing the highest quality marquee entrances in the industry, offers its custom door systems to Lakewood Cemetery’s Garden Mausoleum in Minneapolis.
Established in 1871, Lakewood Cemetery is a public, nonprofit and nondenominational cemetery where many notable Minnesotans are buried. The new 23,500-square foot, two-story mausoleum contains burial space for more than 10,000, a chapel, reception room and administrative offices. Two-thirds of the building is nestled in a hillside to highlight the cemetery’s beautiful and mature landscape.
A mixture of traditional funerary building materials, such as bronze, granite and marble, were used in a contemporary fashion to create a calm and warm environment. The main entrance of the Garden Mausoleum features a pair of Ellison doors covered in decorative bronze grilles with a wide perimeter accent bronze trim and enclosed in a curved overhang. The doors also feature a hinged glass panel to clean the exterior glass.
“The tactile properties were very important when specifying materials for this project. Bronze is warm to the touch and creates the feeling of an intimate space when crossing the threshold from the outside,” says Joan Soranno, FAIA, design principal at HGA Architects and Engineers. “The balanced doors are solid and very substantial, but all visitors can open them with ease. The Ellison Bronze doors will stand the test of time with the mausoleum.”
The Garden Mausoleum features a total of seven Ellison balanced doors, including three double units and one single unit, in a 280 alloy muntz bronze with a #4 satin finish and clear lacquer coating. Each door pair is equipped with Ellison PowerNow power operation functionality, facilitating optimal access for all users.
“We experimented with different patterns and choose a circular motif pattern for the bronze grill on the doors’ exterior that replicates the white tile mosaic surrounding the entry,” explains Soranno.
In addition to the main entry, the Ellison doors also lead to the outdoor garden with a water feature and sitting areas.
“This was a very special project that required a lot of attention to detail,” says James Bringle, who served as senior project manager for Empirehouse, Inc. “We worked closely with the architects to select the highest quality materials and finishes for the mausoleum. Ellison was very accommodating in meeting the timeless and serene aesthetic for the custom balanced doors. We are very pleased with the look and function the doors provide.”
The construction and hinging hardware allow the sizable doors to be opened easily. Traditional swing doors are attached at the frame and the door user must pull the entire weight of the door leaf. A balanced door pivots at two-thirds the width of the door, creating a balance that distributes the weight so the door is simple to open. The inset balancing point allows for an easier open force, even against strong winter winds and building stack, despite the added weight of the sturdy components.
Unlike conventional entry doors, an Ellison formed-up door features a solid sub-frame, which is made of minimum .09-inch thick material. The external door skins are spot welded a close intervals to internal channel components, yielding an extremely durable unitized construction.
Each door is manufactured and pre-hung at Ellison before it leaves the factory, allowing any adjustments to be made so the operation of the door is honed to perfection for easier installations.
Accompanying the functionality and superior quality of an Ellison door, the company also provides detailed record-keeping and full warranties. Every door is made imprinted with an individual project number (similar to that of a car’s VIN number) to facilitate easy tracking and maintenance. Furthermore, all Ellison balanced hardware components are machined in-house, which means that replacement components are always readily available. This is especially important for the Garden Mausoleum, which expects an extensive facility lifespan.
The Garden Mausoleum opened in January 2012. The project team consisted of architect HGA Architects and Engineers, Minneapolis, general contractor M.A. Mortenson Company, Minneapolis, and glazing contractor Empirehouse, Inc., St. Paul, Minn.
Photo Credit: Paul Crosby