MEMORIAL TO THE MISSING, THIEPVAL
Sir Edwin Lutyens’ Memorial to the Missing at Thiepval, France, is one of the most emotive memorials of any war. The names of 72,000 British soldiers that died at the Battle of the Somme 1916, the bodies of which were never found, are carved into the walls of the monument. The Royal British Legion and La Conseil General de la Somme took up the challenge to raise funds to build a visitor and interpretation centre. Enplan were appointed to assist in consultation exercises, in siting the building and to prepare the external works and landscape design. The visitor centre provides interpretative and comfort facilities for many thousands of visitors to Thiepval each year. The simple glass box building has been recessed into the topography and set against a wooded backdrop to prevent it interacting visually with Lutyens’ monument. The excavated material has been used to form sharp sided mounds that shield the car park and path network from a key view on the approach to the monument and to provide a subtle perception of WWI trenches. The landscape is simply finished in grass with wildflowers to continue a relationship with the former battlefield on which it sits.