The Sky’s the Limit – Even for the Dead

by MSO
Architectural rendering of the Moksha Tower which be the largest vertical cemetery in the world.

The Moksha Tower is still in the planning stages but once constructed will be the largest vertical cemetery in the world.

With large scale concerns such as global warming people are starting to realize that we must conserve our natural resources and do what we can to maintain nature in order to ensure there is a livable planet left for future generations. With these concerns in mind, there have been hundreds of scientists, meteorologists, designers and environmentalists working to develop new concepts that will solve the futures problems of keeping the earth sustainable.

For some urban cities, the population has become so dense that they barely have room enough for the living let alone their non-living residents. The acres of valuable land that are currently occupied by traditional cemeteries is land that will never be recovered, essentially limiting the living space of a growing population.

Architectural Designers Yalin Fu and Ihsuan Lin have submitted plans to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats and are proposing to build the Moksha Tower, a large tower that would function as a vertical cemetery. If you can’t go down there is nowhere to go but up.

The building will be split up into different sections that will allow the accommodation of the four main religions practiced in Mumbai, India. For Muslims the tower will provide space for funerals and garden burials and if requested, there are areas for Christian funerals and burials as well. There are facilities for cremation for those of Hindu faith and a river in which to immerse the cremains. And for the Parsis faith there will be a tower of silence on the roof of the tower.

In addition to creating more ground space the tower is equipped with new technologies to not only make it a green building but a building that also cleans the surrounding air which will reduce Mumbai’s carbon footprint. The outer facade of the tower will be lined with a multi-layered skin consisting of an exterior skin, followed by glazing, plants, woven materials and a steel frame that will absorb heat and CO2. This will allow vegetation to grow out of the walls of the tower.

The Memorial Necropole Ecumenica in Brazil is currently the world’s tallest cemetery.

Although the Moksha Tower is still in the design and development stage there is a functioning 13 story vertical cemetery located in Santos Brazil. The Memorial Necropole Ecumenica was built in 1983 and is the highest cemetery in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The Memorial has the capacity to hold 14,000 burial spaces spread over 14 floors with plans to create another 25,00 niches underway. The Memorial Necropole Ecumenica has accommodations for all religions just as the Moksha Tower however, the cemetery tower in Brazil is also equipped with a first class restaurant, a concert hall, luxuriously furnished rooms, a lake with waterfalls and a conservation garden area filled with exotic animals. With such an extravagant setting this building could be easily mistaken for a high class condominium. It has become a huge tourist attraction in Brazil and has been voted best necropolis in Brazil.

With the success of the Brazilian vertical cemetery other densely populated countries and cities are looking into building their own. Both Bogota, Columbia and South Korea currently have architectural designers looking into the practicalities of creating a similar complex in their communities. The development of these towers is affirmation that funeral rituals are changing and will continue to change in order to comply with the social changes we have experienced in the past few decades.

Read more:

Vertical Cemetery is a Green Filled Final Resting Place | Inhabitat Design

Memorial Necropole Ecumenica | Memorial Santos

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