Villa Almeida in Starnberg - Germany

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The villa Almeida is registered as monument in the Bavarian list of building with historic importance (bayerisches Baudenkmals). Its surrounding park is registered in the Bavarian list of gardens with historic importance (bayerisches Gartendenkmal).The villa is located at the top of a hill facing the lake of Starnberg. It looks noble and discreet. The garden is a composition : a magnificent english garden around the villa and a small french garden in front of the main terrace. The most remarkable elements are the view on the lake, the old trees (some being about 200 years old), the paths, the main terrace, the relief and the old fountain in front of the villa.

Which idea of ‘design with nature’ guides the design concept of this site?

The english garden is organised by paths surrounded by trees. Those paths cut the garden in small green oasis. The green oasis are patch of lawn and small vegetation with a massive tree or a group of trees in the middle. Each patch is a landscape in itself but also part of the larger garden. The artificial relief is an essential part of the design that highlights some parts of the garden while recreating a natural landscape.

The small french garden has almost disappeared with time. There used to be geraniums, roses and ground cover plants. This part of the park also contained a glasshouse and a vegetable garden.

The whole park is included in its surrounding nature. In fact, from the top of the hill, we can observe the lake of Starnberg as well as the Alps. Moreover and even though the surrounings of the park are now urbanised, you don't have this feeling while walking through the garden since a really tall and dense vegetation delimitate the park.

Unfortunately, this beautiful park is today in a bad state and lacks maintenance. Our objective is to gather informations about the original design of the place and thus recreate this magical garden.

Which challenges is this landscape facing?

The challenges that the parks is facing are  :

The view on the lake is obstructed by the height of the trees.

The view from the lake is obstructed by the newly constructed villas.

Some paths disappeared and most of the others are in poor conditions.

Here and there trees and shrubs appeared and broke the coherence of the garden.

There are a lot of great old trees which lack maintenance.

Finally, Some important elements of the garden are no longer to be seen : The wall fountain and the french garden.

To sum up, the different entities of the garden can not be appreciated anymore.

What would be your strategy for improvement?

The purpose of our strategy would be to restructurate the space through the delimitation of the landscape entities. The first thing that we would have to do would be a state of plan. In this one we would make an inventory of the trees and their vitality. That way we would be able to identify the most iconic and old trees as well as the damaged ones.

The rest of the solutions could be :

Cutting of the trees blocking the view

Triming of old trees and shrubs

Delimitation and creation of paths

Fix the fountain

Recreate the french garden

Add a vegetable garden

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  • SCHOBER Gerhard, Siedlungs- und Baugeschichte von Starnberg, Teil 1, § B.1
  • Dr. Neubert’s Deutsches Gartenmagazin, Illustrierte Monatshefte für das Gesamtiteresse des Gartenbaus, München 1889, S. 295
  • WÜNNENBERG Rolf, Landkreis Starnberg, Fünfseeland

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