Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Moksha Tower [Vertical Cemetery]
Yalin Fu & Ihsuan Lin
"Mumbai's density leaves little room for the living, let alone for the dead."
Site: C-Ward, Mumbai, India
Illinois Institute of Technology
Antony Wood
Studio: 2010 Tall & Green: The Remaking of Mumbai II

Moksha Tower physical model
Moksha Tower physical model

Moksha Tower physical model

Moksha Tower conceptual image

Moksha Tower concept research
Moksha Tower concept research
Moksha Tower concept research

Moksha Tower structural diagram

Moksha Tower green wall building envelope diagram

Moksha Tower site plan

Moksha Tower floor plans

Moksha Tower building section

Moksha Tower rendering at ground level

Moksha Tower interior rendering

Moksha Tower rendering of the 'Tower of Silence'

Moksha Tower exterior rendering

Traditional cemeteries take up space that will never be gained back in the future. The Moksha Tower project takes traditional burial methods from four major religions in Mumbai and translates them into an urban context. The tower frees up a significant amount of ground space for the living and provides within it a place of rest for the departed.

The tower seeks to meet the needs of the entire burial process for several cultures within the city and create a temporary place of repose in the sky. It also acts as a symbolic link between heaven and earth. For Muslims, it provides areas for funerals and space for garden burial; for Christians, areas for funerals and burial; for Hindus, facilities for cremation and a river to deposit a portion; for Parsis, a tower of silence is located on the roof of the tower. It also contains public green spaces throughout the height of the tower, allowing places for worship, prayer and meditation.

Building Agenda

  • To create a high rise cemetery so as to free up previous ground floor cemetery green space for recreation. In Mumbai, there is little recreation space for the living, never mind the dead.
  • To provide a vertical resource for the handling and disposal of dead bodies which provides storage of the dead only for a period of time (e.g. 5-10 years) so as to ensure the ability of the building to continually accommodate the dead.
  • To embrace and provide burial space for the 4 major cultures/religions represented in the community: Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Parsi.
  • To provide appropriate space and facilities for the very different approaches to the dead within each community.
  • To create significant public green spaces of refuge and contemplation at height in the building, for the benefit of Mumbai as a whole.
  • To introduce vegetation and greenery into the city, to help absorb CO2 and pollution, counter heat island effect etc.
  • To adopt new technologies into the system of handling the dead so as to decrease urban pollution which is often the case with existing cemeteries (i.e. through open burning/cremation).