The Muslim Burial Grounds at Witikon Cemetery, Zurich
The Cemetery within a Cemetery
The Islamic burial culture stipulates that the dead persons be laid on their right side with their faces looking towards Mecca. The overall complex should be simply designed, without embellishment or lush vegetation. These regulations determine the orientation of the graves and explain why they follow neither the topography of the site nor the orientation of the rest of the cemetery.
Two of the four planned burial grounds are framed by a wall and form independent yet similar areas. They are each divided into a grave and an assembly area. The latter is equipped with a fountain and a cluster of ironwood trees, Parrotia persica. These deciduous trees are indigenous to northern Persia and create an association with Islamic regions. They are particularly impressive in autumn, when the spectrum of their tints ranges from dark claret via purple to pink and yellow.