Emilio Ambasz Pro Memoria Garden, project for a Labyrinth, Lüdenhausen, Germany, Axonometric 1978

  • Not on view

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.
Color pencil and ink on off-white heavy paper
27 1/2 x 66 7/16" (69.9 x 168.8 cm)
Gift of Pierre Apraxine
Object number
Architecture and Design

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit https://www.moma.org/research/circulating-film.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].