Tower of Memory | Amanda Mullen Ryan Burckhardt

What is the future of death and memory in the 21st century? Spaces for the dead and for memory are needed in every country. Death is something that affects every person, whether through the loss of loved ones or the realization of one’s own mortality. Caring for the dead is a practice present in every culture. However, in cities around the world, we are running out of space to serve these essential cultural needs. Our thesis site, located in Hong Kong, is in a similar position.

Participant  Name: Amanda Mullen Ryan Burckhardt

Country: United States

Tower of Memory (1)
Tower of Memory (1)

What is the future of death and memory in the 21st century? Spaces for the dead and for memory are needed in every country. Death is something that affects every person, whether through the loss of loved ones or the realization of one’s own mortality. Caring for the dead is a practice present in every culture. However, in cities around the world, we are running out of space to serve these essential cultural needs. Our thesis site, located in Hong Kong, is in a similar position.

Tower of Memory (2)
Tower of Memory (2)

The Tower of Memory is a new means of addressing both the emotional and cultural need for space to properly mourn and remember individual and collective histories, as well as a new built typology to address the increasing demand for such spaces in urban environments. Burial and memorial spaces are typically designed horizontally, incorporated into landscapes, fields, and other natural environments. The future, however, lies developing a new architectural typology to allow these spaces to become elevated from the ground and rise up towards the sky.

Tower of Memory (3)
Tower of Memory (3)

One of the most iconic traditional manifestations of the tall building, the spire of the church cathedral, has been erected around the world as a sign of the grandeur and glorification of god. A secular manifestation of the vertical concept can be seen in the American skyscraper, in the form of the tall office building. Such buildings have long been the solution to lack of living and working space in the ever-growing and dense city.  The future of the skyscraper, however, lies not only in serving the needs of the living, but also those of the dead.

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