The 35 cemeteries in Johannesburg can’t respond to the increasing demand for graves due to a lack of suitable land. Additionally, a preference for traditional burials that demand contact to the ground has discouraged other options such as cremation or vertical cemeteries. This project proposes a 36th cemetery, consisting of a 3km long mausoleum that reuses the currently abandoned underground postal tunnels in the center of Johannesburg.
Crisis of Centrality
Municipality of Johannesburg
The city of Johannesburg is ever expanding outwards towards the new urban nodes to the North and West. And its culture, lifestyle and commerce follow it leaving behind a more desolate and endagered Johannesburg CBD.
Moreover, the growth of population brings with it a heightened demand for cemetery space which the current supply cant sustain and thus starts looking further outwards to find suitable terrain. However due to a scarcity of uncovered land together with a crisis
of unstable terrain caused by the exploitative practice of mining, the need is rapidly becoming more pressing.
This project proposes a 36th Cemetery located in the Johannesburg CBD that will look to reactivate its centrality.
Reusing Postal Tunnels
Cemetery 36 will stretch 2km through the center of Johannesburg CDB. For this, it will reuse the abandoned Postal Tunnels that connected Park station, Jeppe postal office and Ghandi Square. These tunnels, created in 1932 and abandoned in the 1950s, where redisovered in 2018 and the city of Johannesburg is looking to redevelop them as publicly accesible space. Cemetery 36 extends on these postal tunnels creating multiple new entraces underground as well as establishing smaller buildings at the extremes that will strengthen the connection to the surface and the city.