Highgate Cemetery landscape and architecture shortlists announced

Highgate's East Cemetery

Highgate's East Cemetery - Credit: PA/Yui Mok

Finalists have been announced in two competitions to "conserve and enhance" Highgate Cemetery.

The cemetery is the resting place of major cultural figures including Karl Marx, George Eliot, Lucian Freud and Douglas Adams.

In November the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust (FOHCT) launched landscape and architectural projects competitions in a bid to build a "sustainable future" for the site, as part of a 25-year masterplan.

The competition brief set out the challenges and opportunities for Highgate Cemetery posed by climate change, decay and evolving visitor expectations.

Entrants were asked to balance the requirements of a working cemetery with the cultural heritage and community needs, along with a growing number of visitors.

In the landscape competition the finalists are Colvin and Moggridge; Gustafson Porter and Bowman; J&L Gibbons; and Periscope. They will develop their ideas before an online public exhibition of their proposals in April.

The architectural projects competition finalists are Caruso St John; Dow Jones; Hopkins; Manalo & White; MICA Architects; and Purcell. They will set out their understanding of Highgate Cemetery’s needs and their approach to design, with winners announced in May.

Highgate's East Cemetery

Highgate's East Cemetery - Credit: PA/Yui Mok

FOHCT chair Martin Adeney said: "We are delighted to have had a such a strong response to our landscape and architectural project competitions. The output will provide us with a landscape vision and blueprint for managing the cemetery over the next 25 years.

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"Changes will take place gradually and it will be some time before we see work beginning. Meanwhile, we look forward to seeing developed submissions from the finalists and will welcome thoughts on the Landscape Masterplan concepts when we launch our online exhibition in April.

"The winners of the competitions will be announced in May and we will work with them to ensure the cemetery remains the place of enchantment which so many people value, whose carefully-tended natural environment provides sanctuary for those buried here and their loved ones, as well as the thousands who visit."

For more details of the competitions and to view a video produced by the FoHCT, visit highgatecemetery.org/competitions

A view of Highgate Cemetery East in Highgate, north London.

Highgate Cemetery East - Credit: PA/Yui Mok