Work in progress > Portuguese Garden of Peace, 2021 – 2022
Engaged in 1916 alongside the Alliés, the Portuguese soldiers fought on the Flanders front between Laventie and Festubert. Located near the Portuguese cemetery of Richebourg-l’Avoué, the Portuguese Garden of Peace pays tribute to combatants and invites peace through sharing and being together. To arrive at the garden, integrated into a set of glades in the Nouveau Bois de Richebourg, the visitor takes a path bordered by a dense forest that leads him through open and closed spaces, alternating between light and shade, hot and cold, immersing the walker in a unique atmosphere. At the end of the path, the visitor enters a clearing surrounded by elm trees, creating a line between sky and earth, and he finds himself facing a large sculpted table which encircles a particular ecology. In the center of this table, vegetation of still water has been planted: broad-leaved cattails, water clovers, common lysimaques, marsh irises and marigolds. The circular and infinite table surrounds the garden and delimits it. It is both an obstacle that protects this ecosystem and a point of view from which to observe it. It is also the symbol of celebration, sharing and being together. Before being a contemplative space, the Portuguese Garden of Peace was designed by landscapers as a meeting place. Visitors can sit and gaze at the indoor or outdoor garden, alone or with others, in silence or chatting. The table represents for landscapers the space where walkers become family and where families gathered. It is for them a place of memory, where each meeting recalls the previous ones and where memories and wishes are shared.
KWY.Studio & Baldios : Ricardo Gomes and Samuel Alcobia