(b. 1724, Firenze, d. 1798, Firenze)

Lemon House

Boboli Gardens, Florence

The Lemon House was built between 1777 and 1778, after a design by Zanobi del Rosso in the location of the former Menagerie erected by Grand Duke Cosimo III de' Medici in 1677 and dismantled by Grand Duke Peter Leopold Habsburg-Lorraine in 1776, when the animals were transferred to the Menagerie of the Belvedere in Vienna. The construction of the Lemon House became necessary to provide enough winter shelter for the collection of citrus trees displayed throughout the gardens.

Still used to house around some 500 citrus plants, the Lemon House faces south and measures 106 by 8 meters. The façade is punctuated with pilaster strips and features a regular repetitive structure of four spans, each formed of four large windows topped by four smaller framed windows. The succession is interrupted by three identical portals crowned with garlands decorated with fruits; in its upper part, the façade is closed off by a long carved cornice. The symmetrical surfaces between the pilaster strips are decorated in Lorraine green. Inside, two long walls of different heights enable citruses to benefit from the sunlight without getting in the way of one other. The left side of the Lemon House was enlarged in 1816 by Giuseppe Cacialli to create a space equal in width to two windows. Cacialli was also entrusted with the Neoclassical design of the façades of the two wings, which form the edge of the garden to the right and left.