Our redeveloped Guildford Crematorium was celebrated last night (21 January) at the Guildford Society’s 2020 Design Awards’ virtual ceremony. 

The Crematorium won two awards, in the New Public Building and Public Art/Public Realm categories. The judges praised the Haverstock-designed replacement of the original 1965 building and the landscaping by Plincke Landscape Architects. 

Lead Councillor for the Environment, Cllr James Steel says: 

“It’s great to see the designs for the Guildford Crematorium being recognised by the Guildford Society. Congratulations to everyone who worked on designing and constructing the new building, as well as all of our dedicated staff who have played a critical role in supporting the bereaved during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. 


“This has been an extremely challenging time for many of our residents, who have lost family members and friends during the outbreak, and we hope that it has provided a peaceful environment in which families can mark the passing of a loved one.” 

In addition to the rebuilding of the main Crematorium, which opened in December 2019, a Flower Room, Book of Remembrance Room, reflective pool, landscaped courtyards and new car parking all form part of the site to provide better facilities. 

The victorious designers and developers were given the opportunity to explain, on video, the challenges, objectives and favourite elements of their project.  

Tom Gibb of Haverstock Architects, winners of the New Public Building category, says: 

“The part of this project that gave me the most delight was the chapel itself. We spent a lot of time looking at the delicate roof structure and weaving in the discreet servicing, and the strong geometric form shows you where the chapel as soon as you arrive at the crematorium.” 


Gavin Woolston, Senior Landscape Architect for Plincke Landscape Architects says: 

“Designing a landscape for a crematorium is very specific. There’s a requirement for a respectful, elevated atmosphere as well as incorporating the functional logistics of organising services, people paying respects and repeat visits.” 


Peter Coleman, Chairman of the judging panel says: 

“We were heartened by the high quality of entries, which included a range of new developments and restorations in the borough.


“The judges selected the new Guildford Crematorium for the its refined elegance and in bringing dignity to a difficult aspect of life. They were impressed by the seamless integration between the well-designed architecture and the external spaces. We felt the new buildings and spaces were timeless and would continue to provide a calm and dignified experience for many years to come.”

The Guildford Society was formed in 1896 as a Civic Society to promote high standards of planning and architecture and conserve the best of Guildford, its surrounding villages and countryside. The aim of the Guildford Design Awards is to encourage good design. Details and supporting videos of all the winners of the 2020 Design Awards can be found on the Guildford Society website at www.guildfordsociety.org.uk.