Pro-Memoria Garden

  • The people of a small town south of Hannover-completely rebuilt after World War II-were determined that their children should not forget the horror, grief, and destruction of war. This project- intended to impart the lesson of peaceful cohabitation-draws on the Lower Saxon tradition of providing pensioners with a plot of land to cultivate vegetables and flowers. Each garden in the composite consists of irregularly-sized, unique, one-fifth-acre plots defined by hedge walls and separated by narrow paths. Assigned at birth, each plot contains a marble slab inscribed with the newborn's name. Children are taught the rudiments of gardening to prepare for a lifetime of responsible cultivation.
  • When the plot owner dies, the land is reassigned, and a new marble slab is placed next to the first. The new gardener is taught to respect the inheritance received, maintaining as well as improving it. The townspeople's implicit hope is that, eventually, the gardeners will clip away the hedges between the individual plots to create one large communal garden.

project information

location:   Ludenhausen, Germany
client:   People of Ludenhausen
date:   1978
area:   20 Hectares