Peace Tower by Clara HALTER :
From cuneiform characters to today's alphabets, is there a more
universal means of expression than writing – those enigmatic
signs, engraved or drawn on clay or paper, lined up and charged
It is this ancient art form – so communicative and yet so
intimate – that I have chosen to express myself.
That is how I came to design, with the complicity of my friend
and architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, the Wall for Peace monument
in Paris. Glass walls covered with a single word in 32 languages
and 18 alphabets: PEACE. “Peace” repeated ad infinitum
as if to ward off all forms of violence, all wars.
But at a time when the planet is ablaze, building peace monuments
may seem derisory, even chimerical.
And yet, no matter how convinced we are peace will not prevail
in our lifetime, we couldn't live without fighting the battle.
Despite the uncertainty, each new generation must continue the
And it's precisely because we feel that we'll never see the end
of it that we must start again and again, continue indefinitely.
Because it is vital. Because art will be elevated.
The Peace Tower by Jean-Michel WILMOTTE :
The project to build a Peace Tower on Sennaya Square for Saint
Petersburg's Tercentenary celebration is in keeping with the work
Clara Halter and I carried out in 2000 when we created the Wall
for Peace on the Champ de Mars in Paris.
As was the case three years earlier, I wanted to create an original
setting for Clara's writing, where she experiments with letters
ranging from the infinitely small to the infinitely big, defying
our reading comfort. But this time, the specific volume of Sennaya
Square called for a different structure. A wall with dominant horizontal
lines designed for the large open space of the Champs de Mars was
not appropriate. Rather, a vertical vector was needed, a tall slender
shape to blend in with the buildings around the square. This led
to the idea of erecting an 18-metre-high tower that would not be
higher than the surrounding edifices.
Likewise, the design on the tower pedestal, in the shape of a teardrop,
was determined by the route followed by the traffic on the square.
Thus, the tower was conceived to harmonise with the existing high-quality
urban and architectural web. This was also my main concern when
I recently examined a new lighting project for the canals of Saint
The tower project also differed from that of Paris in that the
construction could be enhanced and renewed. Indeed, the pedestal
at the foot of the tower has been designed to bear the signatures
of politicians, economists, intellectuals and artists who will visit
the Peace Tower and adhere to what it symbolises. The tower will
therefore become increasingly significant as influential visitors
come and declare their commitment to the peace cause.