Commissioned by Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality
Photo essay fifteen cultivated landscapes by Theo Baart
Size 22*30,5 cm 62 pages
Design CO3, Wolterra Niemeijer
Printing Die Keure
Edition 750
Produced & published by
Architectuur Lokaal


The Cultivated Landscape (2009)

The Dutch landscape is cultivated. We don’t have nature any more: the Netherlands is a man made land. Even De Hoge Veluwe a forest and heath land in the centre of the country what looks like untouched nature is artificial. Our landscape is made and cultivated over centuries by farmers, water authorities and land owners.

Since twenty years we have the notion of so called New Nature. Often very interesting interventions to create a landscape which we regard and recognize as nature: landscape that we can afford not to be useful in a economic meaning is redesigned as nature.

For a longtime we took our landscape for granted. But that has changed in combination with the rise of the notion of new nature. Urbanization of large parts of the country, the shrinking of the population on the countryside, new infrastructure and upscaling of agriculture means a rapid transformation of our landscape. And all this in a over populated country.

The quality of our landscape, the analysis of the transformation, the need to take care of the keepers (farmers mostly) is nowadays an issue that is addressed by many organizations and state agencies.

My book Bouwlust is about this transformation process but I have made also work for a few organizations to show how diverse our landscape is. And how it express our cultural identity. I combine here a few assignments to show the Dutch landscape.