FFE Magazine

Norway cemetery association lauds unique Design

by: FFE EU News Staff

MartinVertical graveyard by Martin McSherry

Vertical graveyard by Martin McSherry

The Nordic Association for Graveyards and Crematoria singled out a unique cemetery concept in a design competition for young architecture and design students. The ‘vertical cemetery’ was designed by Royal Danish School of Architecture student Martin McSherry for the Nordic Congress of Cemeteries and Crematoria in Oslo.

The design features a modular high-rise tower for the dead. In his proposal, McSherry said ‘Existing cemeteries will slowly be removed to provide land to the city’s living souls.

‘The vertical cemetery, with its open front, will become a significant part of the city and a daily reminder of death’s existence. In time, the city’s tallest and largest building will become a grave for all its citizens — the city’s ever-changing monument.’

The design has been lauded by the association as ‘a highly original contribution’ among 19 others in the competition. McSherry’s design also posits that the different communities in the city (the Jewish, Muslim and Christian cemeteries) will have their own reserved floors. Memorial areas for non-believers and urns for those cremated will also be set.

The proposal also suggests installing a permanent crane at one side of the building in case new layers and burial areas have to be built.


The- Memorial-Necropole-Ecumenica-in Brazil

The- Memorial-Necropole-Ecumenica-in Brazil

The concept of vertical cemetery is not new. In Brazil they have been building vertical cemeteries since 1980s.

Indian architectures have also thought of vertical cemeteries as a means of dealing with the growing population and land scarcity.  The-Moksha-vetical-cemetery-design-India




Building cemeteries vertically above the ground is one way of dealing with the lack of space in big cities.

Tower for the dead Mexico

Tower for the dead Mexico

A vertical cemetery can also be built underground as suggested by the Mexican architectures Israel López Balan, Elsa Mendoza Andrés, and Moisés Adrián Hernández García in there ‘Tower for the dead’ design.


What do you think about a vertical cemetery? Do you think it is a good idea to build cemeteries vertically in order to save space, or do you think the traditional graveyards should be preserved





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