With each step it gets easier. It is a simple design yet a poetic paradox: each step that you make, when climbing the stone staircase that brings you up to the meditation hill of Almhöjden, rises lower than the previous step you made.
Conceived by the Swedish architect Sigurd Lewerentz as part of the Woodland Cemetery (the initial design dating back to 1915 and the first phase of building completed between 1917 and 1920), it is a plain physical spacing out of the entrance. But it is also an act of empathy making those last few steps for the one who is mourning more manageable. Once you have reached the top of the stairs what reveals itself is a progressively scaled sequence of squares – starting with the stone-clad pit at the centre, enveloped by a grassy lawn, enclosed by a stone wall and finally lined by the twelve umbrella-shaped Camperdown elm trees that have given the site its name. It is a place for thought not conditioned by any faith – a bare minimum amount of building allowing for an architecture of consolation and for consolation in nature.