Jakobsen, Preben (landscape architect)

Reference: AR JAKDate: 20th centuryExtent: 95 boxes and drawing
From a folder relating to Jakobsen’s 1984 entry to the Chelsea Flower Show

Preben ‘Ben’ Jakobsen (1934-2012) was a Danish born landscape architect and plantsman.

In 1993 he became the fourth member of the Landscape Institute to receive its Gold Medal. Jakobsen’s family owned a nursery business and while he showed little interest in plants in his early days he later chose to study horticulture in his native Denmark. In 1953 he began studying at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, where he became interested in landscape design, eventually returning to Denmark to study landscape architecture at the Danish Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Jakobsen returned to England permanently in 1961 and started work for Eric Lyons on Span housing schemes. This collaboration lasted until 1969 when he set up his own private practice with his architect wife Margaret. Jakobsen was considered one of the leading landscape architects of his time and was described by Geoffrey Jellicoe as ‘a designer of outstanding ability’. He lectured on planting and planting design and contribution to Design with plants, edited by Brian Clouston for the Landscape Institute.

The collection contains drawings, project files, photographs and slides, office records and correspondence.

More information

  • A catalogue is available on the online database.
  • A handlist of project files and drawings is available here.
  • A handlist of projects Jakobsen was involved in, or tendered for is available here.
  • The MERL Library contains a few books about the work of Preben Jakobsen.


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