Municipality of Zonnebeke


Laureate Funeral Award 2007


Town Hall Zonnebeke, 24/09/2007-04/11/2007

Geluveld cemetery redevelopment and expansion

For the redesign of the cemeteries of Zonnebeke, I chose an overall vision articulated as the “cube formation. Cubic columbarium niches were placed in each cemetery (Zonnebeke, Beselare, Passendale and Geluveld), albeit each in a different context. A creative solution on cremation that proves it can be done differently. In the designs, the deeply human prevails over the merely functional. This profoundly human aspect is expressed not only in the columbarium itself, but also in the scattering fields, which are planted in the most prominent location, facing the landscape. This creates a place, a space, that can offer the mourner a sense of “hope. In addition, the deeply human is certainly reflected in the connection between the old and new parts of the cemetery. A green “lifeline” there makes a connection between old and new, between life and death. The redesign of these four cemeteries proves that within our profane world, spiritual landscape architecture has a right to exist again. The cemeteries of Zonnebeke are not merely cemeteries, but “burial and contemplation gardens,” where the bereaved can feel, just for a moment, a little closer to their deceased loved ones.




Andy, once again I must congratulate you wholeheartedly. So much beauty makes a person quiet. Can be detached from many daily concerns. Having to relinquish a loved one takes on a deeper meaning in your beautiful realizations and is conducive to inner peace and tranquility.

Paul Decorte

Just now I looked at many of your works and your photographs. It strikes me that in your work you respect or and even emphasize the poetry of the existing place. This gives peace of mind. Congratulations and so much you have already accomplished!

Gisela Van Melkebeke – Vansteenkiste

The designer here creates a pure and light mood against which all the everyday means so little.

Gilbert Decouvreur

Dear Andy, it was a real pleasure to approach, enter, learn to understand and appreciate the soul of one of your realized designs. We could identify with the attached quotes and comments … Especially about the unspoken … about the silence, the overwhelming sound of the “condition humaine,” for those who want to hear it … The art painters quoted also have a strange influence/attraction on my mental attitude. In doing so, I always harbor a deep respect and admiration for the rare people with a thoroughgoing vision, not superficial words but effectively constructed actions and realization, sculpted during the tormented fever of a creative process and flanked by a consistent philosophy and/or vision of life.

Guy Pattyn

Andy, your designed cemeteries suggest a succession of staged images, toward a climax. And especially the interaction between those different scenes while moving. As in the cemetery of Geluveld with large yews as bodies shaved, metaphors of sentinels between daily life and what follows. While stepping between those bodies of green, the fine blue-gray pebble makes a crackling sound. Is it to make our presence known to the dead? Or is it something like whistling in the dark, as long as we hear the gravel we are still among the living. Our field of vision faces the forest. Then a corner twist in the route, before ending on a “pedestal of goodbyes. This “farewell plinth” or “the edge,” in other words, the place of saying goodbye, ensures that saying goodbye is set on a stage, not vertically, but as a horizontal movement that ends abruptly in depth. The scene of the ash scattering takes place in front of a window on a silent landscape as a metaphor of another nature. The scattering of ashes is done toward a depth, such that we never see the ashes touch the earth. As far as I am concerned, it is a magisterial movement that does not emphasize man returning to earth as dust, but as spirit merging into the thin air and being carried along by the wind in gently swirling movements between heaven and earth. Not death as a final static resting place, but death as a transition to another being, a dynamic thing. It is also in this context that I mention an analogous setting at the birth of my son. The delivery room was located on the ground floor at the end of the hospital wing. A long and wide horizontal window looked out on countless tree trunks, both close and far from the building. This gave a feeling of being born in the forest, nature …

Steven Verzele