Landscape architecture in Germany

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7250 Landscaping Designs

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Landscape architecture in its current form is a relatively young discipline in Germany, despite the fact that when one looks at past garden art and garden architecture, its origins have very traditional roots. The planning and designs of landscape gardeners such as Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell (1750-1823) or Peter Joseph Lenné (1789-1866) still influence the appearance and the open space systems of important German cities today.

If we confine our observations to contemporary landscape architecture, the period after the Second World War represents an important phase in its development. Even if the post-war period was characterised mainly by very conservative attitudes and landscape architects were mostly concerned with private gardens, some progressive and socialist-based ideas did become widely accepted. The protagonists of these positions were landscape architects such as Herrmann Mattern, Ulrich Wolf and Günther Grzimek, the designer of Munich's Olympic Park, which opened in 1972. They demanded parks and open spaces with varied activities and uses for all social classes.1

From that time onwards, an important medium of German landscape architecture has been the national and international garden exhibitions (BUGA and IGA). Ever since their premiere in Hanover in

1951, these exhibitions have taken place every two years, each one in a different German city. Over time, their importance has evolved into something much more than a horticultural fair. They 'create social green spaces and make an essential contribution to a modern ecological urban development'.2

Beginning in the 1940s, the study of landscape architecture has also been established as a postgraduate or an engineering programme at universities and polytechnic colleges. Most such study programmes belong to the so-called 'green' faculties and are closely combined with subjects such as horticulture or agriculture and not as a specialisation of architecture. Accordingly, the courses are often characterised by an ecological orientation. Under somewhat differing names, studies in landscape architecture or related courses are currently offered at a total of 16 universities in Germany: 5 research universities and 11 universities of applied sciences, the German Fachhochschulen. Related study programmes orientated towards landscape construction and management are relatively new and are offered at a small number of faculties. In this particular field, the University of Weihenstephan and the University of Osnabrück currently offer the only complete engineering degree in Landscape Construction and Management, and each school has developed its own particular emphasis and profile.

German unification in 1989 initiated numerous impulses and new fields of activity for the whole building industry, including landscape architecture. The re-united city of Berlin was made the capital of Germany again. With three million inhabitants, Berlin is the largest German city. As a result of the relocation of the German government from Bonn to Berlin, a lot of new facilities have been built, and a multitude of remarkable landscape architecture projects have also been generated.

Many projects realised in Berlin or neighbouring Potsdam could have been used as examples of 'best practice' in landscape architecture. However, two projects in the city of Munich have been cho sen for the following case studies. The first example is the 'Landschaftspark Riem', or the Landscape Park in Riem, located in an eastern city quarter of Munich, which is not completely finished at the moment of writing. The second example is the new cemetery in Riem, which is a part of the park, but is not as well known, although it is a noteworthy project in its own right. Both projects are judged to have exemplary content. Our assessment of 'best practice' is not confined to consideration of a single remarkable object, based on a persuasive design concept and realised in high technical quality; we also evaluate 'best practice' on the basis of a holistic, interdisciplinary planning strategy in which landscape architecture plays a decisive role.

Case study

The Landscape Park in Riem

Case study

The Landscape Park in Riem

Project data

Project name:

The Landscape Park in Riem


Munich, district of Riem


International competition 1995, 1st prize

Construction periods:

1998-2001 (1st phase of construction), 2000-04 (2nd phase of

construction), 2002-05 (National Garden Exhibition 2005)


60 million (park) 41 million (garden exhibition)


210ha (park) 130ha (garden exhibition)

Landscape architects:

Gilles Vexlard, LATITUDE NORD, Paris (design); Stahr and

Haberland, Munich (bidding, site management, 1st phase of

construction); Heiner Luz, Munich (since 1998, bidding, site

management, 2nd phase of construction); Rainer Schmidt,

Munich (Garden Expo)


City of Munich, represented by MRG München-Riem Ltd.

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Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

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