The Dutch Peat Colonies


Commissioned by

The Chief Government Architect of the Netherlands has advised the Dutch Government  for more than two hundred years.


BOISEN was commissioned in 2013 together with landscape architect Bureau Rietsema.

The Context

The Dutch Peat Colonies is one of the oldest large-scale industrial landscapes of Europe. The Bourtange Moor was a very large area at the current border between the Netherlands and Germany. The region covers three provinces and is currently characterised by demographic and economic decline.

Our Contribution

Together with architectural firm Bureau Rietsema, we’ve conducted an extensive analysis of the history of the region, it’s current identity-markers and symbols and the role of it’s regional identity in the contemporary setting.


As a way of engaging citizens and entrepreneurs in the region to do more with the regional identity, we’ve produced a coffee table book with a catalogue of concrete initiatives and ideas on how to revive the regional identity in a contemporary context.