Franco-British Thiepval Memorial

Silence

To listen to a site and its history, to evoke the unspeakable experiences of life in the trenches.

The prime British marker of the Battle of the Somme, the Memorial at Thiepval was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Its cement, vertical silhouette looks out over a military cemetery that extends over the horizon. The collective history of the site is experienced geographically.  It reveals itself in the vista over the vast, hilly plains punctuated by the cemeteries for the different combatants and the long lines of trees that form a kind of isolated and fragile series of frontlines. From the ever-present sky and its changing weather patterns to the reality of this ground to which so many have returned. The visitor’s center and museum is a long hall of steel, glass, and brick embedded in the soil. Visitors leave behind the vast landscapes of the Somme when they park their cars and walk down a narrow, sloping path towards this almost immaterial building, a walk that literally recreates the experience of being in the trenches.

PROGRAM
Construction of the visitor centre of the Franco-British Memorial in Thiepval
CITY
Thiepval (France)
CLIENT
Conseil Général de la Somme – Thiepval Project charitable fund
CONTRACTORSHIP
PLAN.01, architect
Dominique Hernandez, landscape designer
RFR, structure engineering
Delta, fluids engineering
SURFACE
1,050 m² (net)
COST
€1,400,000 (pre-tax)
TIMELINE
Delivered in 2005

Housing units in Pontoise

to this project

Crematorium in Amiens

to this project

Vendée History Museum

to this project

Rennes Municipal Crematorium

to this project

Velodrome for the 2016 Madrid Olympics

to this project

Arts and Cultural Center in Courbevoie (project 1)

to this project

Arts and Cultural Center in Courbevoie (project 2)

to this project

Campus of Justice in Madrid

to this project

Citadelle Museum in Verdun

to this project

Memory Center of French Guyana

to this project

Eco-collective-housing in Paris

to this project

Conservatory of Music and Dance in Lillebonne

to this project

Headquarters of the WTO in Geneva

to this project

Funerary center in Saint-Etienne

to this project

Mall in Epinay

to this project