Date of Submission

Spring 5-9-2023

Degree Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Tim Frank


The current methods and traditions of burial practices and cemetery design are to be examined for architectural opportunities within this thesis study. The current practices of cemetery design and burial methodologies in the United States have shown signs of instability and lack of longevity due to the decreasing availability of land in dense city environments. Additional climatic factors such as rising sea levels also threaten below ground burial. In other countries, cities such as Hong Kong and Tokyo have already begun to research new methodologies surrounding burial due to this concern and the need for US cities to follow suit may not be far behind. Through architectural analysis, we can begin to dissect the root cause of this instability and decipher if changes in these practices are tangible and reverent, and if so, how these changes can influence the design of a new vertical cemetery or burial typology. Key output of the study will be a reverent vertical burial practice that will provide a solution to land scarcity and can be input into an existing cemetery typology. Solutions can be derived through the analysis of historical precedents of cemetery design as well as case study analysis of existing burial practices such as vertical cemeteries. Micro and Macro studies of the human body and its relation to burial systems will also give key insight into the design methodology.