Verdun Memorial, Verdun, 2012
In addition to just presenting the history, this project offered a challenge: showcasing the location’s significant historic symbolism. How can we create and formalise the link between collective memories and the history of national awareness? How can we view and understand a territory whose very identity serves as a reminder of the most inhuman confrontations? What meaning can we give to modern architecture so that it can accompany the memorial and bring it into the present? Our proposal is based around 4 strong ideas: working with the site’s morphology and the limits of the landscape to give the project a position in the landscape, respecting the Memorial and showcasing it through “tensioning” rather than juxtaposition or stacking, through modern architecture with pure and precise shapes, giving the new unit the consistency and precision required to be a part of History, and to uncover the territory’s symbolic strength, offering a diverse indoor journey to visitors, a balance between significant clarity associated with a museum experience punctuated by views of the landscape.