Whitin Giroux Works

Creativity. Innovation. Design Excellence.

formerly Whitin Design Works

Parks & Public Spaces

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Rose Hills Memorial Park
Whittier, California

Rose Hills, the largest cemetery in the United States, covers 1,400 acres at the Whittier location. The Master Plan for the 21st Century, encompassing 400 acres of undeveloped cemetery property in Sycamore Valley, was created to address current challenges and future opportunities in the unplanned areas of the Park.

The process of creating the Master Plan spanned a year's time and was guided by 2 underlying principles: respect and collaborate with the significant existing landform and identify existing and future cemetery markets. To develop new ideas and concepts to expand the cemetery, WHITIN DESIGN WORKS hosted a series of interdisciplinary charette/brainstorming sessions. The information generated by different user groups in the charettes contributed significantly to the creation of the Master Plan.

The charrettes addressed not only aesthetic, environmental and logistical issues but also cultural and psychological factors that influence people's experience in the cemetery. Four separate, day-long charrettes were held on the project site to illicit response to these various issues. Sessions were held with Senior Management and Senior Sales Managers of Rose Hills in addition to a group of people not directly related to the cemetery industry. This group consisted of a professor of religion, an artist, a Feng-Shui expert, an architect, a businessman, a creative writer and principals of WHITIN DESIGN WORKS.

The resulting Master Plan is a flexible blueprint for the future, incorporating development decisions and identifying strategic action items prioritized on implementation timing.