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Mumbai’s High-rise Graveyard

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And here it is. (Yalin Fu and Ihsuan Lin/Illinois Institute of Technology Design Studio/CTBUH)

“Where to put the deceased?” you ask, and architects answer: “in a skyscraper.”

Designers Yalin Fu and Ihsuan Lin have proposed a high-rise cemetery solution for Mumbai that promises to be both efficient and architecturally pleasing. Mumbai is a crowded place. According to the architects, “there is little recreation space for the living, let alone the dead.” A tower of graves would free up green space to absorb CO2 and counter the city’s urban heat island effect (read more about the urban heat island effect here). Meanwhile, the skyscraper would act as a symbol of the deceased’s assent into heaven.

Moksha Tower would be divided into sections to meet the needs for each of the major religious groups found in Mumbai — Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Parsis. For example, the design calls for a cremation facility for Hindus and a tower of silence on the roof for Parsis.

This structure would not be the world’s first high-rise of graves. According to Lapham’s Quarterly, a 13-story building on a hill in Santos, Brazil, already houses the dead. And a South Korean architect has proposed building a high-rise graveyard “where a cell phone call could light up the specific receptacle of your loved one’s remains, so you could view them from a distance.” Whoa!

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