Death & The City was a competition to design a Vertical Cemetery in one of the largest urban populaces; Tokyo. The intent in building Vertical Cemeteries is to address the issue of space in growing cities. Our inspirations came from traditional Buddhist methodologies and the ritual and rite of laying the deceased to rest.

The traditional Buddhist ceremony of death involves a lengthy 49-day journey across the River Sanzu, a period of wandering souls and mourning. The ultimate goal is reaching Nirvana, an otherworld of nothingness and darkness in the truest sense of the word; an extinguishing of the flame and a freedom from rebirths. Our program created three paths including the paths of preparation, passing and remembrance. The Tokyo Vertical Cemetery [sic], enlists the power of this journey to create a somber, reflective and emotional response to the passing of our loved ones and our won journey here on earth.



AIA 10 Unbuilt Award