SCHINKEL, Karl Friedrich
(b. 1781, Neuruppin, d. 1841, Berlin)

View of the Roman Baths

1829-36
Photo
Charlottenhof, Potsdam

The Charlottenhof complex in the garden of Sanssouci near Potsdam is attuned to private mythology and Romantic outlook. It was laid out by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and the landscape architect Peter Lenné (1789-1866) for the Prussian king from 1826. The ideal landscape around Charlottenhof with the Schloss, Court Gardener's House and Roman Baths represented an utopian realm of peaceful human co-existence.

Schinkel had to incorporate an existing building into his plan, but nevertheless succeeded in realizing this idea in architectural form. The Schloss is distinguished stylistically by Doric columns on the garden side and Ionic doorways on the entrance side, while the Court Gardener's House is modeled on Italian country houses with open pergolas and vine arbours. However, in the Roman baths, Schinkel combines the structure of a Pompeian house with the spatial arrangement classical 'thermae' and settings from Greek Antiquity, such as the caryatid porch of the Erechtheion on the Acropolis in Athens.