Polder characteristics


A garden in an urban area. Villages grew together in an area where there used to be polders.

The polders are the basis for the design. Bringing back a bit of the original emotion of the place.



This garden is thoroughly grounded in the surrounding polders.

Significant parts of The Netherlands are polders. A delta-landscape of marshes turned into polders. It’s what the Dutch are famous for.

The older polders are smaller, and the newer ones are very big in scale. But big or small most of the time, they have the same characteristic. 

Dramatic skies and a composition of horizontal lines. A rhythm of water lines, higher grass edges along the waterlines and meadows cut in different intervals with tree lines of Willows, Alder and Poplars in the background. It’s actually an industrial landscape for small and big-scale farming, but the small-scale polders have romantic and poetic qualities.  

These green landscapes capture the elements dramatically. Of course, the wind is prevailing, but rain, sun and mist are often caught dramatically and poetically.

The Dutch identify themselves with these polders, which are very important for the collective identity of Dutch society. 

Andrew van Egmond - Landscape architecture - minimal design - grasses - willows
Andrew van Egmond - Landscape architecture - minimal design - concrete patio


Andrew van Egmond

Green contractor


All these qualities are integrated into the design of this garden. Although there are no direct views of the landscape because it is part of the village grid, there is this important sense of place. We all take the underlying landscape with us in a subconscious way. Therefore it is crucial to work with the underlying landscape. It creates a natural ease for us as humans and strengthens the local ecosystem we are part of. 

This garden design is dominated by green tones and different kinds of vertical grasses—a composition of lines of green and water with a floating element above it.

The characteristics of the industrial landscape are visible in the concrete elements and rusted Cor-Ten steel surfaces.

Details are crucial in minimal designs. Because there is no distraction, the composition and refinement must be very good. The floating concrete terraces, the edges along the water surface, and the border in the background are laser sharp and create a beautiful contrast with the lush green of grasses, grey leaved willow and the white trunks of Birch trees which existed in the formal garden. The Cor-Ten steel surface creates a strong line framing the ever-changing and moving nature in the background. In addition, this surface has a unique integrated graphic. The graphic represents reeds in the ditches of the polders and further emphasizes the emotion of the polder landscape.

In my work, the underlying landscape is critical. With an ever-growing urban grid, it is essential to stay connected to the original landscape and nature as a whole. We must work with nature, not push it out but embrace it, learn from it and immerse ourselves in it.

Andrew van Egmond - Landscape architecture - minimal design - CorTen Steel
Andrew van Egmond - Landscape architecture - minimal design - concrete patio