What is a Modern Cemetery?
Updated: Jan 19
A modern cemetery: Is it a modern mystery? Or is the US on its way to revolutionizing the way we think about graveyards? Read on to find out.
1. Modern cemeteries in the US
Do they exist? Modern cemetery architecture is not yet a fixture in American society. However, the rest of the world is a bit ahead of the curve. Dezeen's guide to contemporary cemetery architecture contains some of the best examples of the direction we'd like to go in with Currant. But notice: none of those cited are in the US. Interesting, right? Shouldn't we catch up?
Here are a few fascinating examples from Dezeen around the globe:
- Extension to the Gubbio necropolis, Italy, by Andrea Dragoni
- New Funeral Home, Spain, by Batlle i Roig Arquitectes
- Crematorium in Kėdainiai, Lithuania, by Architektu Biuras G.Natkevicius ir Partneriai
As you see above, these modern architectural masterpieces are located around the globe in areas such as Lithuania, Italy, and Spain. Italy, in fact, has pioneered the invention of natural burial options such as Capsula Mundi. However, these biodegradable, green burial options haven't integrated into public spaces for burial as of yet - at least, not in the way that we envision it happening for Currant.
2. Too cold and uninviting?
The examples shown above are sleek and contemporary. But is this what we want for the US in terms of innovative burial grounds? We want Currant cemeteries and memory houses to be warm and welcoming to everyone. Cemeteries are already known to be scary and cold areas. Why not make them hubs for people to congregate?
The rest of the world has already blurred the line between life and death. The US likes to keep death under wraps, so to speak. We can change that by not making burials, graveyards, and funerals a scary, untouchable experience.
The Dezeen examples, as you probably noticed, include not only cemeteries but funeral homes, chapels, and even crematoriums. With modern innovation in the way we practice religion and even cremate bodies (see: promession), it's only right to update the way these buildings and public areas look.
3. Replacing unkempt graveyards
Here are some images of graveyards in the US that could use some updating:
- Michele Pedro looks at a grave marker in an unkempt cemetery in Montville, Conn. Connecticut recently passed a law allowing towns to take over abandoned cemeteries. | Jessica Hill, Associated Press
- An open grave in Charleston speaks to broader problems of neglected cemeteries | Mary Katherine Wildeman, The Post & Courier
While, admittedly, there is a certain beauty in old, forgotten graveyards, we can do better. Memorializing our loved ones shouldn't turn into a burden, an eyesore, or a place for ghost stories and frights (though we do love those things, there's a time and a place!).
4. The ultimate modern cemetery design
It appears as though Australia got it right with this one. Bunurong Memorial Park is an Australian contemporary park that also happens to memorialize loved ones.
It is a modern hub where people can converge, eat, talk, socialize, hang out, and just generally create a positive environment around death. We all experience it, so why not make it pleasant? Don't you think your loved ones would want you to be happy when visiting them, much like in life?
‘As societies become more secular, our attitudes to death and dying are changing. this shift in personal beliefs and philosophies is challenging the existing funeral industry and traditional cemetery establishment.’ - Check out the mockups here!
This is nearly exactly what we want for Currant. Currant will emulate these contemporary, modern cemeteries around the world, bringing this peacefulness to the United States. It's about time. Find out how you can help.