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date: 23 October 2019

Lenné, Peter Joseph

A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

James Stevens Curl,

Susan Wilson

Lenné, Peter Joseph (1789–1866) German landscape architect/urban-designer, 

trained under his father, Peter Joseph Lenné (1756–1821), and J.-N.-L.Durand. He worked at Laxenburg, near Vienna (1814–15), before settling in Potsdam, where he became (1854) General Director of Gardens. He laid out the grounds of the Pfaueninsel (1818) and Schloss Charlottenburg (1819), and after a visit to England (1822) he introduced the English landscape-garden to Prussia on a grand scale, influenced by the work of Kent and Sckell, notably at the Volksgarten, Magdeburg (1824). Lenné collaborated with Schinkel and the latter’s pupils, especially Persius, on numerous schemes, notably the gardens contiguous to Charlottenhof (from 1825—where there were allusions to Antiquity and to the Alhambra, Granada), and the grounds of Schloss Glienecke and Schloss Babelsberg (although both parks were strongly influenced from 1843 by the views of Pückler-Muskau, who had no high opinion of Lenné’s work). He prepared (from 1833) an ambitious scheme for the landscaping and general improvement of the whole Potsdam-Sanssouci district adjoining the Havel Lake, transforming it into one of the most enchanting landscapes in all Europe, with reciprocal vistas, panoramic views, and intimate enclosures. He redesigned the Tiergarten, Berlin, into an informal landscape, enlarged (1840s) to encompass the zoo: the entire ensemble became a public park. He also prepared plans for Berlin and its suburbs, including Moabit and Tempelhof, and (1850s) advised on the planning of several cities, including Dresden, Leipzig, and Munich. Lenné’s designs should be seen as complementary to the architecture of Schinkel (especially in the area round Charlottenhof, the Court Gardener’s House, and the ‘Roman Baths’, Potsdam), and as playing no small part in Romantic Classicism. His work was very influential in C19 Germany, especially through his pupil’s (Gustav Meyer) Lehrbuch der schönen Gartenkunst (1860).


Bergdoll (1994); Giersberg & Schendel (1982); Günther (1985); G.Hinz (1989); Meyer (1860); Tay (2006); G-H.Vogel (1992)