Ramée, Joseph

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Ramée, Joseph (1764–1842). French architect and landscape-architect. Trained under Bélanger, he was also influenced by Ledoux. He designed the Hôtel Berthault-Récamier, Rue du Mail (late 1780s–early 1790s), and the great Altar of the Fête de la Fédération, Champ de Mars (1790—destroyed), both in Paris. Having fled the Terror, he worked in Germany, where he designed the Börsenhalle (1803) and laid out Picturesque parks with fabriques in eclectic styles in Hamburg. At Ludwigslust, near Schwerin, he designed a mausoleum (1806— in an advanced Neo-Classical style with Doric portico) for Friedrich Franz (1756–1837), Duke (later Grand Duke) of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Ramée also worked in Denmark c.1800–6 (Sophienholm, a country-house near Copenhagen, is a good example of his work there, with gardens and Gothic and vernacular fabriques), but in 1812 he went to the USA to plan new towns and buildings in NY State for David Parish (1778–1826) of Hamburg, but the war with the UK ruined those intentions, although Parishtown, NY, acquired a few works erected to his designs. One of his best surviving buildings in the USA is Union College (1813), Schenectady, NY, an early campus design which may have influenced Jefferson when planning the University of Virginia at Charlottesville. Ramée returned to Europe in 1816, working first in The Netherlands, then (1823) France, and again (1830s) Hamburg. He spent his declining years preparing works on gardens for publication in Paris: they include Jardins irréguliers et maisons de campagne, de tous genres et de toutes dimensions (1823), Recueil de cottages et maisons de campagne (1837), and Parcs et Jardins (1836). His son, Daniel (1806–87), contributed to architectural history and to the restoration of various Cathedrals (e.g. those at Beauvais, Noyon, and Senlis) as well as the Abbeys of St-Riquier and St-Wulfran at Abbéville. His Dictionnaire général des termes d'Architec-ture of 1868, published in Paris by Reinwald, is an excellent and impressive volume. He also published volumes on medieval French architecture, the Schloss at Heidelberg, and architecture and practical construction.


GdBA, vii (1860), 110–8;
Placzek (ed.) (1982);
Ramée (1836, 1837);
Jane Turner (1996);
P. Turner (1987, 1996)