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The Vertical Necropolis | Rethinking Urban Funerary Architecture in Borella

Part 2 Project 2021
Irushi Guruge
City School of Architecture | Sri Lanka
Regardless of caste or creed, death is common to all. The manner in which spaces of death are dealt with in our cities is a reflection of our cultural priorities as well as a reflection of our relationship to our own mortality. The fragile relationship that modern society has with our own mortality has painted this fact of life a taboo. The social and spatial marginalization of death is revealed through the ostracization of spaces of death and dying in the city morphology. The zeitgeist characterized by its quest to achieve sustainability in all walks of life, has also taken root in the death-care industry. With newer and more environmentally cognizant death care practices being introduced in recent times, the issue seems to be the lack of an architectural framework to support scientific innovation.

The project addresses a rethinking of traditional funerary architecture and explores a spatial solution to support newer environmentally cognizant death-care practices while incorporating them within the boundaries of conventional, performative ritualization specific to funerary celebrations in Sri Lanka. As a project on the bleeding edge, this architectural exploration would be a pilot project that would help reconfigure the traditional cemetery archetypes in the country.

Irushi Guruge


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