This steam engine at the Teufelssee powered the Villenkolonie at Westend in the late nineteenth century

Project (2018)

Gardens of Steam: Projecting Industrial Culture into the Berlin Landscape

A remarkable feature of “English” landscape gardens built in the Berlin area in the nineteenth century is that they were virtually all powered by steam engines, which supplied irrigation, fountains, streams, and other Wasserkunst to a flat landscape of sand. Thus the gardens found their origin in one of the prime movers of industrialization. Indeed, they projected industrial culture into the Berlin landscape. This projection, however, took a variety of successive forms over the nineteenth century, forms that reflect the emergence of new social classes. This project investigates four such forms: royal gardens, 1815–1850; bourgeois gardens, 1830–1860; Volksgärten, 1840–1875; Villenkolonien, 1870–1900.