French’s Pathway to Healing

Albuquerque, New Mexico

The French Family of Companies had an existing building in need of revitalization. Our goal was to reconfigure the traditional funeral home to include inviting outdoor areas, reception and gathering spaces for celebrations of life, and grief counseling services.

Modifications were made to the oversized parking lot to accommodate new exterior program areas; the design team ensured remaining parking spaces were sufficient to support the operations of the business during services.

A walkway was created along the south side of the building and a new landscaped area of 7,922 sf was designed. These exterior landscaped areas were a major component in the transformation. Ramadas and trellises lead visitors along a path that continues to a patio on the west side. Walls are offset to allow openness, defined spaces and are high enough to frame the sunsets and block the buildings beyond. Guests approach the building at the east doors to the Grief Counseling Center and can continue to the final Ramada at the entrance to the reception hall.

The appealing landscaped pathway features contemplative spaces for hosting somber activities. Careful attention was given to keeping basic operations of the funeral home concealed from visitors. Openings are situated to capture views and enhance the experience. 


  • 8,000 sf of exterior program spaces – the “Pathway to Healing”
  • Multi-Function Facility