Originating in 18th century England, the landscape garden and its architectural features had a profound impact on subsequent architectural thought. The Folly, the Belvedere, the Grotto: They are pure architectures without utilitarian use. The only purpose of the Folly is to create a sense of place, to define an architectural and spatial specificity within the garden. At the same time, the Folly embodies a longing for an Arcadian landscape long past, for an ideal world that never existed. As such, these structures are manifestations of a cultural debate that questions the very foundations, aims and possibilities of society and cultural development.

The idea of the folly has been interpreted on the architectural scale a number of times through history, from the first Arches at Stowe Gardens in 1727 to the Parc de la Villette in Paris (Bernard Tschumi, 1983) and countless others.

We will explore the architectural typology of the folly through research, discussion and design sketches. In addition, we will take fieldtrips to two very well-known examples of follies right in the vicinity of the Bauhaus: The “Dessau-Wörlitz” Gardens and the “Pfaueninsel” in Berlin.