Bouwlust in Kroller-Muller as part of Nature as Artifice


Photography, text & editing Theo Baart
Additional texts Warna Oosterbaan,
Tracy Metz & Nöel van Doorn
Poetry Willem van Toorn
Design Typography & Other Serious Matters
Printing Veenman
Size 240*280 mm, 246 pages
Publisher Ideas On Paper / NAi Publishers, Amsterdam 1999
2.000 copies
(out of print)

Bouwlust has been published and produced with financial assistance from the Netherlands Architecture Fund, the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, the Ministry of Housing, Physical Planning and the Environment, the Municipality of Haarlemmermeer.


























The Dutch countryside is under great pressure from increasing urbanization. Bouwlust depicts the transformation of Haarlemmermeer - a striking example of urban development - from an agricultural to a suburban area. Haarlemmermeer was reclaimed around 1850. Up until thirty years ago, the polder was used almost exclusively for agriculture.

Urbanization of the polder began in the seventies of the last century. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, which had been isolated, expanded and joined to Hoofddorp; the polder's main village. Large new housing developments were grafted onto the village and the number of inhabitants increased ten-fold. A new landscape developed. The centre of this village was the scene of a struggle between the old and the new. The old lost.

Now that it is almost completely disengaged from its past, the 'new town' is interchangeable with many other residential developments in the Netherlands.

I grew up in this area (1960-1977) and since 1977 until 1999 I have photographed the process of transformation. I am not prompted by nostalgia, but by amazement at the way in which progress manifest itself. In 2005 I returned to this area and published in 2008 Eiland 7

A follow up of Bouwlust is the book Werklust (2015).

Bouwlust was presented at the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam (1999), later on that year in Erasmus House, Djakarta, in 2000 in the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto as part of Still / Moving, Contemporary Photography, Film and Video from The Netherlands. Bouwlust was part of the opening exhibition in FOAM Amsterdam in 2002 and part of Nature as Artifice in the Kröller-Müller Museum in 2008.

Photoworks from Bouwlust The Urbanization of a Polder are in the collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the art collection of the Municipality of Haarlemmermeer. All the prints used for the printing of the book Bouwlust were acquired by the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam. The book is online on the website of the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam.