Gate of Heaven Interior

KZF helps Archdiocese expand Inurnment Offerings

KZF Creates First Indoor Columbarium for Gate of Heaven Cemetery

CINCINNATI, OHIO [May 11, 2018] — KZF Design, working closely with Gate of Heaven Cemetery staff and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, provided full architecture, engineering, and interior design for a new columbarium now under construction at the 160-acre cemetery in Montgomery, Ohio. The building is the first indoor columbarium for the Archdiocese, providing a range of remembrance options for families and reflecting the Catholic Church’s desire for the prayerful reverence of cremated remains.

The design of the limestone and granite faced building focuses on creating a light-filled, spiritual space, flush with clerestory daylighting and windows which offer views and vistas of the surrounding landscape. The new columbarium provides space for 690 niches allowing for the accommodation of 1200 urns in a climate-controlled environment. The niches are designed as both glass-fronted, internally-illuminated spaces as well as granite-faced niches, in a variety of sizes. The vestibule features a cenotaph wall, with space for 160 plaques on which to commemorate loved ones interred in locations other than Gate of Heaven.

A center feature includes a space for statuary, currently being carved in Italy, surrounded by greenery and flameless memorial candles. Stone from the Holy Land is encapsulated into the terrazzo tile flooring. All interior lighting is indirect, creating a restive, reflective, and sacred place for contemplation and prayer.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on the site of the 3100 SF building in February. Michael Kelley, KZF’s Director of Interior Design Services and Project Manager for the columbarium project, states that the Archdiocese and design team are currently determining items to be placed in a time capsule to be placed into the building foundation and opened in 50 years.

Construction is anticipated to be complete in the summer of 2018. Placed in front of the existing Administration Building, the columbarium will become the new “face” of Gate of Heaven Cemetery. The Archdiocese plans to design and build more columbaria in future phases.

To see more cultural projects, visit our portfolio.

About KZF Design
Founded in 1956, KZF Design is a multidisciplinary firm dedicated to helping clients design better futures. KZF Design’s professional team of architects, engineers, interior designers and urban planners have built a reputation for thoughtful, award-winning designs and unparalleled technical proficiency in both the public and private sectors, with specific expertise in commercial, workplace, education, community infrastructure, industrial, government and justice projects. One of the Midwest’s premier design firms, KZF Design’s staff of 65 is based in LEED® Gold and ENERGY STAR® certified offices and studios in downtown Cincinnati. For more information or to view a portfolio of recent projects, visit

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