Place du Centenaire

a churchyard

Familiar elements congregate on the square in front of the church of Vernayaz. They tell a story that could have taken place on this site: a pond, some alders, a wall, a relief representing three saints. A circle in black terrazzo constitutes the eccentric heart of the square. Alluding to the shallow water table of the region, this surface fills with water once a day and becomes a mirror reflecting the church, the wooded cliff and the neighbouring houses. Its diameter of 18 meters creates a moment of the sublime, as typically only found in nature. The pond recalls the worship of sources of the pagan era, their appropriation and the rites of Christianity. To the south, a wall with a pointed crown accompanies the alders. Together they form a shaded space in contrast to the vast expanse of the square. Charged with different dimensions the site is liberated from its former entropy.

Public square
Vernayaz, VS
Competition 1st prize 2012, construction 2012
Municipality of Vernayaz
Civil engineer
Kurmann & Cretton SA
Planting specialist
Alfred W. Forster
Régis Golay
  • François Esquivié, « Zwei Plätze. Zwei Konzepte », Schweizer Baudokumentation, 2020-4
  • N. Regusci, X. Bustos, A. Hohler, M. Keller, « "Place du Centenaire" », Open Space Connection, Landscape Architecture and Interventions in Public Space, dpr-Barcelona, 2016