Shepherd of the Hills Memorial Garden
Grace Memorial Garden was designed and built by F:F for the Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church as a place for community members to experience a story of love, hope, faith, and grace through a crafted and carefully detailed landscape of stone, water, steel, and plantings. At the time of the design and construction of the garden, the Church campus was at full impervious cover buildout allowed by the City of Westlake Hills. F:F worked with City officials to convince the City that the Garden, which was to be constructed inside the low walls of an existing storm water infiltration basin would not have any adverse effect on storm water quality or reduce the basin’s volume. With negotiated approval by the City in hand, F:F provided full Design+Build services for the project including; fabrication of large cold rolled steel elements that were precisely and intricately water-jet-cut and welded to form “light walls” for candle light services, and a set of three large curved walls surrounding the Hope vessel, inside which names of congregation members are memorialized each year in a pattern that will fill over time in a pattern of geologic strata with earliest deaths recorded at the base of the walls which are also inscribed with sand blasted scripture verses; a series of select boulders representing love, faith, hope, and grace, with the one ton faith boulder suspended above ground level by a tripod of thin stainless steel tubes, and the grace boulder which was plumbed to include a weep of water that supports a surrounding mix of native wildflowers and flowering perennials in contrast with the otherwise barren natural landscape that was left undisturbed. Other construction included Leuders limestone paving with various surface finishes, and all planting and irrigation. As part of the construction of Grace Garden, F:F also created an ADA accessible ramp allowing a pathway to seating above an outdoor worship amphitheater used for special holy day services. The ramp and level seating areas include large monolithic stone benches that provide a retaining wall for the ramp switchback change in elevation, and seating for the lower path.