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Gardens of war. British Cemeteries on the Western Front

Gardens of war. British Cemeteries on the Western Front
Frank Rambert
le mardi 15 septembre 2020
ouvrage
EPFL Press

Edition en anglais de l'ouvrage Jardins de guerre, publiée par MétisPresses en 2014, tirée d'une thèse de doctorat en architecture soutenue à l'ENSA-V/ ED Paris-Saclay en 2012.

 

After five years of conflict, the Great War is over. The British do not repatriate their soldiers who have died on French soil, neither do they gather together their cemeteries, leaving them instead wherever the war has killed. There are 967 of these cemeteries still present today, revealing the history and geography of the conflict and delineating in the fields the frontline which has now disappeared on a territory re-conquered by agricultural life. British cemeteries are gardens: trees and flowers gather around white headstones laid on impeccable lawn and around the visitors’ shelter. Each cemetery is a piece of England laid on foreign soil. Designed by the greatest architects of the time, such as Edwin Lutyens and Charles Holden, their architectural quality is exceptional. Gardens of War invites us to discover these unique places and approaches them in two ways: as a project, based on archive documents and testimonies from the main participants in this vast enterprise, including politicians, diplomats, and above all, architects; but also from the visitor’s point of view upon discovering the cemeteries, travelling along the roads linking them together and rendering impressions through sketches, photographs and drawings, as closely as possible to the experience of senses and emotions.

This book talks about humanity, revealed by these stigmata left behind by an extraordinary event in places that have since been stripped of their ordinariness. We are moving over land marked by imprints, from the apparently tenuous traces left buried by war to those revealed by cemeteries. We should like to know how all this combines to create a human territory that is at once physical, historical, cultural and emotional. Like all living beings, people mark their territories in the knowledge – conscious or intuitive – that these things will live on when they are gone, and that they want it to be so. Frank Rambert
 

 

Date de publication : 29 septembre 2020

276 pages

ISBN : 9782889153947