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University of Pretoria



Burial spaces within Pretoria have become inert, fenced-off islands – restricting death rituals and their intrinsic value to society, according to Ullrich from the University of Pretoria. This is the basis of his thesis, entitled ‘Life in Death: Addressing Heterotopic Burial Spaces by Reintroducing Burial Rituals into the Inner City of Pretoria’.

Diagnosed with colon disease at the start of his first-year studies, Ullrich adds that this has given him a new appreciation for the ephemerality of life and an approach to design spaces that promote cathartic healing. His project aims to inform a wider audience of the severe impact of urban burial issues within major South African cities.

Burial rituals and grieving are an intrinsic component of our humanity, and burial spaces have been increasingly removed from South African inner-city districts. The project attempts to reintroduce burial rituals into the inner city of Pretoria with the intervention of a public commemorative burial space.