One thing is for certain, the world is becoming more and more cramped. Space is certainly one of the hardest things to create in urban cities, especially when all you want to do with it is fill it with dead bodies.
That is the problem currently facing many of the world's most densely populated cities. Every time someone dies and is buried, you need to find at least a 6 by 2 foot space to put them. That might not sound like a lot, but over the years this all adds up. Traditionally, cities would intern the dead in vast catacombs or necropolises under the ground. However, with modern plumping and underground transportation networks, that's hardly a solution these days.
So, with little space left for traditional cemeteries, some cities are looking at some more novel alternatives - namely skyscrapers of the dead.
Skyscraper Cemetery, Norway
The decidedly un-Norweigian sounding architect, Martin McSherry, has developed a concept for solving Norway's graveyard shortage.
Utilizing a metal exoskeleton, his multi-story graveyard will look in much the same way as an old fashioned cemetery - except it will be several hundred feet up in the sky. Complete with trees, benches, memorials and chapels, the structure is designed to offer a marriage between modernity and tradition.
The design also includes a crane permanently situated next to the structure, so new floors can be added as needed.
Tower For The Dead, Mexico City
Few places are more densely populated than Mexico City, which presents a major problem for city planners. Furthermore the Catholic country is well-known for its often grand and ornate cemeteries, meaning you better come up with something pretty special to replace them. With this in mind, may I introduce The Tower For The Dead.
In reality, the Tower For The Dead, isn't a traditional tower at all. In fact, it is more like a screw which buries 820 feet into the earth. The screw will contain various levels complete with chapels and central hole termed the 'void to the underworld'.
Each level is also built to represent a level of grief. Mourners can expect to pass through areas designed to conjure up emotions such as: depression, guilt, shock, withdrawal and eventually, resolution and readjustment. The design team state:
This project proposes an underground vertical cemetery for Mexico City – a vision that takes into consideration the overpopulation, the scarcity of land, and the psychological and sensory experience of grieving. The ‘Tower of the Dead’ allows the family members of the deceased to be reborn, after a trip to the underworld, where they just buried their loved one.
Vertical Cemetery, Paris
The design for Paris' vertical cemetery seems to be the exact opposite of The Tower For The Dead.
It will act as "a symbolic tower with a rightful place within the city that the deceased so much loved." Instead of plunging into the underworld, the vertical cemetery will spiral into the sky, and will feature a skylight that allows natural light to pour down the center of the building to a water pond at the base. Access to the top levels is provided by a spiral walkway.
The outside of the building will feature flexible filaments which each represent a diseased person.
Moshka Tower Cemetery, Mumbai
Mumbai is expected to expand greatly in the future as India becomes a rising economic and industrial superpower. With valuable space needed for industry and residences, that doesn't leave much for the dead.
To deal with this, architects have created the Moshka Tower, a skyscraper cemetery which combines all four of the major cultures and religions found in Mumbai - Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Parsi.
The Moshka Tower will provide facilities for both burial and cremation, and will include a tower of silence on the roof, chapels, and rooms for prayer and meditation.
The multi-layered facade of the building is also filled with vegetation to absorb heat and CO2, while the tower will also feature new technology to allow for sustainable cremation.
Where would you like to be buried?