The Firebreak Garden
Frédéric Bouvier, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland
A test structure for the forest protection against fire in the Maures Mountains
A Maures Mountains (Massif des Maures) firebreak is chosen as an architectural initiative. The project is twofold with this experimental ground for the forest’s defense against fire: it uses the current issue that is the management and the maintenance of the firebreaks to indirectly make reference to Harkis’ history.
Harkis are the French army’s auxiliaries, who were left alone by France during the Algerian Independance and massacred by revenge. In other words, we choose to compensate the history’s crushing weight by suggesting an unintentional memory instead of a voluntary one. The place seems to be perfect to unify these different requirements. In fact, Harkis, at least those who were repatriated in the “hameau de forestage” in France, were in charge of the development and the fight against forests’ fires.