7 Unusual Vertical Structures

1World's Tallest Vertical Cemetery

With the remains of around 100 billion dead people currently buried or otherwise stored on this planet, it’s no surprise that we’re running out of space for final resting places. The phrase “six feet under” just isn’t sustainable anymore, so architects are now looking to the sky as an alternative to sprawling ground cemeteries. High-rise cemeteries are becoming increasingly popular all over the world, and the Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica, in Santos, Brazil, is the highest of them all.

When Pepe Altstut inaugurated the cemetery, in 1983, it was only a small building, but the demand for above-ground tombs with a view was so great that he kept expanding until his cemetery became the tallest in the world. Today, it measures 108 meters tall, features 25,000 units (tombs, if you will), several wake rooms, crypts, mausoleums, a peacock garden with a small waterfall, and even a chapel and snack bar on the roof.

The Memorial Necrópole Ecumênica is one of the most visited landmarks in Santos and acknowledged as such by the local tourism board. Altstut admits that his cemetery is incredibly popular with tourists, and attributes it to the structure’s notoriety as the tallest cemetery on Earth. People from all over the world reportedly come to Santos to see the necropolis where people pay big money for tombs with a view.


2World's Largest Vertical Maze

First, there was the Burj Khalifa. “Great,” we all said. “Dubai is building the world’s tallest building. Good for them.” Then, there was an announcement about the world’s largest airport and plans for the world’s tallest twin towers. Then came the world’s biggest mall, and the world’s largest “subsea tourism site.”

And now, a Dubai building has been awarded the accolade of “world’s largest vertical maze.” The maze has a surface area of 3,947.22 square meters and sits on the face of the 55-story Maze Tower building.

There are a few problems with the last “world’s largest” label. First, the competition can’t be very fierce — we’re not sure anyone else has even tried to build the world’s biggest vertical maze before. Also, a vertical maze is almost entirely pointless, because you can’t even walk through it.

Anyway, Dubai now holds over 100 Guinness World Records. Round of applause for Dubai, everyone.


3World's Tallest Vertical Garden

The world’s tallest vertical garden graces the Sydney skyline in the form of a towering residential high rise cloaked in living forestry. The highly anticipated One Central Park features a park of its own that climbs 166 meters into the sky in a breathtaking marriage of architecture and nature. The intricate project created by Jean Nouvel and Patrick Blanc reminds us all that the natural world can thrive in harmony with an urban environment. Indeed, it should.

Designed by Parisian architect Jean Nouvel, in collaboration with French artist and botanist Patrick Blanc, One Central Park’s living green facade exhibits 250 species of native Australian flowers and plants. Its vines and foliage intertwine between each floor on lush balconies, in a vertical continuation of the park below.


4Vertical Car Silos

Volkswagen’s Autostadt—an automotive-themed amusement park in Wolfsburg, Germany—includes a car museum, driving courses, car factory tours, and these 20-story car silos. European VW buyers can opt to pick up their cars from the robotic car silo instead of the dealership—automation ensures they will receive a car with an odometer that reads zero. After spending a day enjoying the park, customers can watch the central robotic arm travel up the tower and choose their vehicle from the beehive of cars.


5Venezuela's Vertical Slum

The Tower of David in Caracas stopped being constructed in 1994 when the economy collapsed; now it is home to hundreds of low-income families. The 45-story office block was designed by the Venezuelan architect Enrique Gómez and was almost complete when it was abandoned in 1994.

The skyscraper has become a national icon since squatters moved in after the financial sector crashed. Occupying simple tents and small homes divided by hastily-erected brick walls, everyone living in the building forms a tightly-bound community. Businesses like warehouses, clothing stores, beauty parlors and day-care centers operate in a self-contained, and relatively safe, environment.

Source 1, Source 2

6World's Tallest Vertical Rollercoaster

In 2014, father and son businessmen David and Joshua Wallack announced plans to build the $300 million SKYPLEX entertainment complex in Orlando, Florida. The main highlight of the complex is a 570ft-tall Polercoaster dubbed Skyscraper, which will become the world’s tallest when it opens in 2018.

What’s a Polercoaster? As the name suggests, this type of roller coaster is completely supported by a vertical pole, allowing for a complete ride experience in a very compact layout. Though many of these rides have been proposed in the past, Skyscraper will be the first of its kind.

The ride will ascend out of the arcade-style indoor complex and wind diagonally up the pole. At the top, the eight-passenger train will veer to the side and complete an inversion 570 feet above Orlando. Without warning, the train will plunge into a beyond-vertical drop and begin picking up momentum. During the circling descent down the tower, riders will experience seven inversions before winding around the complex in a series of airtime hills. The ride experience will add up to four minutes, which is much longer than a traditional roller coaster.


7World's Tallest Vertical Farm

AeroFarms, an urban agricultural company, has big plans to turn a defunct steel mill into a 70,000 square foot vertical farm in Newark, New Jersey. The facility is projected to cost $39 million and will provide greens and other produce to New York and New Jersey communities. According to the builders, it will be the largest indoor vertical farm in the world.

Vertical farms, like other types of urban farming, aim to provide fresh produce to city dwellers. They cut down on the energy demands of shipping food from the countryside to city markets, while at the same time offering an alternative to clearing ever more wilderness in the name of growing food. Vertical farms also have the potential to produce food year-round and can be more efficient in their use of water and fertilizer.

AeroFarms currently operates a test farm in Newark, where they use efficient LED lights and aeroponic mist to grow greens. “The plants are really getting a white-glove lifestyle experience,” CEO David Rosenberg told NPR. “They have people catering to their every need.” Trays of plants are stacked like shelves, up to 30 feet high.


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