Cultiver la Mémoire — Jardins de la Paix by 100Landschaftsarchitektur [Thilo Folkerts]: For the commemoration of war a garden would at first seem the worst medium. War is death, disorder, and discontinuity. Especially in the case of the First World War, it is also typically about the literal turning over of soil. At the same time, any garden is about struggle; it is a fight about creating and achieving a certain order and then maintaining it – quite often at odds against nature.
I’m interested in the garden as a cultural medium, even as a cultural tool. In this, the garden is very apt to the effort of collective memory, of remembrance and commemoration. The garden is about learning, about overcoming adverse situations and taking up responsibility. Remembering war, and specifically, the two big wars that have overturned civilization in Europe has to be kept an ongoing project. We Europeans are obliged to cultivate our shared garden of memory. And while at large we are currently still granted the fruits of beauty and peaceful cohabitation, we have to look after sowing the seeds for further generations.
Cultiver la Mémoire is a small project that is not oriented towards form, but towards process and practice. Three gardens, located at the far ends of Old Craonne, are intended to arouse curiosity and interest in the larger site. The garden installations primarily aim at highlighting the authenticity of the site and make it more accessible. Three rings of stainless steel, a material that cannot be confounded with any historical remnants in the area, serve as a simple marking element. The rigid steel reacts with and underlines the dramatic topography of the area. Within the rings the ground receives additional attention, it is used to plant thousands of bulbs of some twenty different plants. Starting with the inauguration of the garden in autumn 2018, the planting of bulbs could be an on-going activity at the site. During most periods of the year, inhabitants, and visitors can bring bulbs and set them in the ground.
The bulb – botanically the storage and carrier of energy and information – is in itself an element of memory. Activating its semantic and participative power in the scarred soil of the former battlegrounds, the visitors’ individual contribution could become a simple, long term project in the shared cultivation of memory.
Plan & Realization: 2018 | Vieux Craonne, France
Cooperation @100land: Gabrielle Mainguy, Madeleine Allain
Client: Jardins de la Paix by art & jardins Hauts-de-France
Image credits: @Thilo Folkerts VGBildKunst
Thilo Folkerts [100Landschaftsarchitektur] born in Neuenhaus, Germany in 1967. He studied landscape architecture at the Technische Universität Berlin (TUB), taught at the School of Landscape Architecture at the Université de Montréal, Canada in 2006, at the TUB in 2008/2009 and at the Academy of the Arts in Stuttgart from 2011 until 2014. Primarily working as a designer, Thilo Folkerts, has since 1997, realized experimental works on the concept of the garden. Temporary projects were installed in Quebec, Le Havre, Lausanne, Basel, Zurich, Rome, Kortrijk, Brussels, Baruth, Frankfurt/Oder, and Berlin. In 2014 he was a fellow at the Villa Massimo in Rome. In addition to working as a landscape architect who designs, experiments and constructs, he pursues his interest in the unique language of gardens as author, editor and translator. Thilo Folkerts founded 100Landschaftsarchitektur in Berlin in 2007. The aim of 100Landschaftsarchitektur’s work is a changed perspective of place or a localisation of the urbanite in his environment – as a base for a ‘Baukultur’, a building culture that starts with careful observation of what exists and develops its projects from there.
100Landschaftsarchitektur is concerned with creating garden — and landscape architecture for today’s environments. Joining clear concepts and a sensitive materiality, 100Landschaftsarchitekturis searching for contemporary urban natures. The scope of work comprises the creation of specific, tangible spaces as much as the conception of comprehensive landscapes. Creating garden — and landscape architecture necessitates the continuously renewed search for each site’s appropriate shaping of time and space. At the base of all of 100Landschaftsarchitektur’swork ‘garden’ serves as a working title which expresses the cultural root of our shaped environment and facilitates a bridge into living realities. Thilo Folkerts is principal of 100Landschaftsarchitektur. In addition to working as a landscape architect who designs, experiments and constructs, he pursues his interest in the unique language of gardens as author, editor and translator. Thilo Folkerts founded 100Landschaftsarchitekturin Berlin in 2007.