Vertical Cemeteries: a Changing Paradigm
Author: Franklind Jesku
Affiliation: POLIS University, Tirana
Humans use architecture as both their first and last stop. A newborn is honored and welcomed into the new world in the hospital. The final stage is to take the deceased to the cemetery, where they rest in peace. Death cannot be avoided. To cope with and minimize the great pain caused by the death of our loved ones, a wide range of afterlife beliefs and stories have been developed on cultural, spiritual, geographical, and other levels. Religion and culture are two underlying themes in these afterlife spirits and beliefs. With the continuous increase of the world population and the demographic crisis of megacities, the theme of the cemetery and burial space becomes crucial to dispel the gap between necessary living space and density. Can a new way of burial solve these questions by adapting to various customs and various social and political contexts? Can architecture solve and intervene in the gap that exists between the world of the living and the world of the dead? This paper will explore the notion of "Vertical Cemeteries" throughout history and throughout visionary architectural projects that propose a new way of burial in a fast changing world.
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