Structures of the death market

Another cool project from Domus, this time a “vertical cemetary” whose “commitment to quality is eternal.”

[Image: Via Domus].

Though it looks like something out of Perdido Street Station, it’s really a skyscraping extension to the Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica, “a vertical cemetery established in Santos in Brazil in 1983.”
This futuristic, insectile extension “will create another 25,000 niches, set inside a 108-metre-high tower block that will complete the complex.”
It will be circled by birds, looming alien on the horizon.

[Image: Via Domus].

Quoting the article at great length:

The vertical cemetery is particularly widespread in Brazil and is also beginning to be used in other places: the Panteón Memorial Towers complex, which consists of 13 towers in a vaguely deconstructivist style, has recently been presented at Bogotá in Colombia and sparked debate concerning changes in funeral rituals related to the social changes that have taken place over the last 30 years. In the South Korean pavilion at the last Venice Architecture Biennale, the project The Last House by architect Chanjoong Kim (founder of System Lab) addressed the same notion, bringing it into line with more contemporary architectural styles and approaches and drawing on a zoomorphic language that echoed systems of vascular circulation. Architecture appears swift to take the opportunity to address a new area where death creates a market, on the borderline between consumerism and entertainment.

Personally, I think it will soon be covered in plastic bags, snagged from the air, and within ten years it will host a bungee-jumping platform.
Then, fifteen years after the tower is completed, a Brazilian George A. Romero will make a terrifying new version of Night of the Living Dead, in which all the corpses come back to life… falling to the ground in packs, then crawling away into the darkness.

[Image: Via Domus].

More images are available at Domus, and a few more thoughts on such projects can be found at we make money not art.

(Elsewhere: “The Hanging Cemetary of Babylon“).

7 thoughts on “Structures of the death market”

  1. I look forward more to bodies disposed off in space… y’know, commercial space travel begins to exploit, oops no, sorry, solves the problem of lack of terrestrial burial space and starts delivering cadavers, by the millions, into the vastness of holy sanctified black and starlit space…

    Timmy Leary did it…


    tune in. drop out and turn into a meateor…

    otherwise, woodland burial is another option:

    “we’re already dead, just not yet in the ground”

  2. Hi,

    This is totally bizarre. We should be thinking about ecologically sound methods of disposal. As soon as a few thousand bodies have accumulated they should be weighted, put on a refrigerated ocean liner and dropped into the middle of the ocean. The shipbuilding industry would flourish once again. Alternatively, we could bury all our relatives in our back gardens without a coffin, but wrapped in body bags made of recycled newspapers.


  3. this vertical symmetry is an exciting sculpture I love it
    it makes dying seem like such an acheivement

    maybe someday it will be illegal to be buried and everyone will have to be cremated although good luck in handing out the violation tickets hee hee

  4. Each year, 22,500 cemeteries across the United States bury approximately:
    30-plus million board feet of hardwoods (caskets)
    90,272 tons of steel (caskets)
    14,000 tons of steel (vaults)
    2,700 tons of copper and bronze (caskets)
    1,636,000 tons of reinforced concrete (vaults)
    827,060 gallons of embalming fluid, which most commonly includes formaldehyde. However it is worth noting that embalming fluid chemically changes in the act of preserving the body and is not largely present as a fluid and this figure refers to embalming fluid before it is introduced to the body.

    i want my remains scattered at wikipedia!

  5. In 2002 NL Architects designed a ‘Sky Cemetery’ for the Friedhof der Zukunft competition. It goes much further in exploring the programmatic possibilities and implications of a skyscraper as cemetery than this project seems to do.
    I couldn’t find info on the web, but it is published in DD_10 on NL Architects (2005)

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