Pro Memoria Garden was the winning entry in a competition for a memorial that would remind future generations of the horrors of war. The unrealized project consists of a series of small, irregularly shaped gardens divided by seven-foot hedgerows and narrow paths. Children of the town of Lüdenhausen would be assigned one of the plots at birth and assume responsibility for taking care of it at age five. This, it was hoped, would teach them a respect for life. Over time, the hedges would be removed to make a single large communal garden. Ambasz usually addresses the mystical and poetic side of architecture in his work, but here he has used what he considers to be architecture’s ability to produce myth-making acts to suggest a collective commitment to the performative dimension of public space. His practice of giving “poetic form to the pragmatic,” as he has described it, is in this case imbued with a specific political project.
Gallery label from 9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 Years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design, September 12, 2012–March 25, 2013.