Bushey Cemetery, Hertfordshire

Located in London’s Green Belt is one of the UK’s most significant Jewish cemeteries. Situated on 16 acres of natural beauty the Architect ‘Waugh Thistleton Architects’ worked closely with the United Synagogue to build two new prayer halls.

The prayer halls sit serenely and discreetly into a low corner of the sloping landscape. The rammed earth construction brings not only complimentary visual beauty to the site surrounds but the ancient building method links past and present in such a sacred location.

The Architect utilized rammed earth for not only its ancient origins but its natural, sustainable, durable and strong properties. This project called for strong cooperation between all parties and The Group was involved from start to finish. Working in partnership with the Architect and Client.

The prayer halls are monolithic and in contrast, discreetly embedded into a corner of the sloping site. The Group sourced local material and the rammed earth was chosen for this sacred site due to its symbolic and practical part in the Jewish faith. In which it works alongside the traditional sentiment of the deceased being laid to rest in plain wooden caskets, ‘returning to the earth’.

The rammed earth is left exposed in ceremonial spaces creating a serene and peaceful environment. This project took over 10 years of planning with the trustee’s, Jewish community and planners, meaning every choice and material design is thoughtful and well considered. Earth Structures Group took great pride in every detail of the construction process and understood the significance of this project to its Jewish community.