Philippe Prost’s elliptical concrete memorial marks the centenary of World War I

Photograph by Aitor OrtizThe names are arranged in alphabetical order, irrespective of nationality or rank, so that they are “united now and forever in their common humanity.”
Photograph by Howard KingsnorthThe 10-millimetre sans-serif typeface used to print the names in white block capital letters was designed by   Paris-based typographer Pierre di Sciullo. This concrete oval, designed by Parisian architect Philippe Prost to be “the colour of war”,   stretches out across the site of one of the world’s largest French military cemeteries to commemorate the centenary of the First World War (+ slideshow). Photograph by Aitor OrtizThe Ring of Remembrance memorial is a 328-metre oval-shaped loop constructed from panels of cast concrete and inset with 500 copper-toned panels. Photograph by Howard Kingsnorth”The ring is synonymous with both unity and eternity: unity because the names now constitute a sort of human chain; eternity because the letters continue without end, alphabetical order prevailing over all distinctions of nationality, rank or creed,” said Prost. Photograph by Aitor OrtizThe monument was inaugurated on 11 November, the date now known as Armistice Day. Three-metre-high bronzed stainless-steel panels splay out from the concrete structure and are   inscribed with the names of the 579,606 casualties of the war, which famously began on 28 July 1914 and ended just over four years later. Photograph by Aitor OrtizPhilippe Prost   was asked to design the   memorial for the military cemetery of   Notre Dame de Lorette, which is located in the countryside outside the northern French village of Ablain-Saint-Nazaire. Photograph by Aitor OrtizThe concrete ring cantilevers over 60-metres across this dip in the terrain “to remind us that peace will always remain fragile.”
Photograph by Aitor Ortiz”On the outside, a ribbon of dark concrete, the colour of war, balances on the hill that overlooks the plains of Artois,” added the architect. Photograph by Aitor OrtizSmall round lights set into the paving slabs reflect off the gilded panels at night to emit a warm coppery glow.

Updated: 22.11.2014 — 06:54