Landscape Works with Piet Oudolf & LOLA

5 Jul 2021 - 17 Oct 2021

'Landscape Works with Piet Oudolf and LOLA: In Search of Sharawadgi' presented the ideas and dreams of Piet Oudolf and LOLA Landscape Architects. With the help of numerous other artists, the exhibition took visitors on a journey of discovery, showing them how public gardens and landscapes across the world have been transformed. 


SCHUNCK Glaspaleis

In 2017, Peter Veenstra of LOLA Landscape Architects and Piet Oudolf, the Netherlands’ most renowned garden designer, gave a presentation to the KTH Architecture School in Stockholm. Although they had been collaborating for many years, this was the first time they had articulated the common ground that exists between their disciplines. Whilst researching for another project, Veenstra stumbled across the term Sharawadgi, in an essay about electronic music. The term ‘Sharawadji' was introduced in this presentation to draw attention to the unexpected and ‘uncomposed’ musicality in compositions which evoke a sublime experience in the listener: ‘the beauty that arises without apparent order or classification’.

Organic and naturalistic

Intrigued by this ‘Sharawadji’ and the new space it opened up for appraising design methods differently, it came to light that the term originated in historic views on Japanese landscape design. In the context of landscape architecture, the term Sharawadgi has become synonymous with a style of landscape design or architecture in which austere lines and symmetry are avoided and instead, the landscape takes on an organic and naturalistic feel.

In Sharawadgi, LOLA and Oudolf have discovered each other in their own design professions. Each in their own way they are addressing the needs of society: the demand for a more abundant, greener nature, for ‘earthing’, for participation and contributing, for mental and physical health, and a concrete solution to the climate problem.

Piet en LOLA (14).jpg

Impression of the exhibition Landscape Works with Piet Oudolf and LOLA, SCHUNCK 2021. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij


SCHUNCK organised an exhibition on this theme in 2021: In Search of Sharawadgi. The exhibition presented the ideas and dreams of Piet and LOLA. It took visitors on a journey of discovery, showing them how public gardens and landscapes across the world have been transformed. From the High Line in New York, the gardens of Hauser & Wirth in Somerset, the Star Maze in Tytsjerk to the Leisure Lane in Parkstad. Visitors were able to familiarise themselves with Piet Oudolf’s and LOLA's ultimate vision for the future: a global forest against the warming of the earth. It is a dream that can start in anyone’s garden, however big or small.

Piet en LOLA bezoek preview (2).jpg

Impression of the exhibition Landscape Works with Piet Oudolf and LOLA, SCHUNCK 2021. Photo: Luc Lodder

On their journey through the exhibition, visitors were also able to make acquaintance with the artists Joseph Beuys, Anne Geene, Geert Mul, Sanne Vaassen, Giuseppe Licari and Darcy Neven. With new and existing works, they presented an extraordinary perspective on both the discipline of garden design, and major issues, such as global warming and the impact of nature on our well-being.

Piet Oudolf

Since 1982, Piet Oudolf (b. 1944) has lived and worked in Hummelo, a village in the east of the Netherlands, where he and his wife Anja started a nursery for polycarpic plants. Oudolf’s garden has since become renowned for its radical approach to garden design. Oudolf is co-founder of Future Plants, a company which specialises in the selection, breeding, cultivation and protection of plants for landscape design and open spaces.

Oudolf’s projects include: Oudolf Garden Detroit, Belle Isle, MI; The High Line, New York, NY; Lurie Garden, Millennium Park, Chicago, IL; Serpentine Gallery, London, and the Venice Biennial in Italy. Oudolf has (co-)authored numerous books, including Landscapes in Landscapes (2011); Gardening with Grasses (1998); Dream Plants for the Natural Garden (2000) and Planting Design: Gardens in Time and Space (2005).

Piet Oudolf tijdens bezoek en preview  SCHUNCK.jpg

Piet Oudolf during a visit to SCHUNCK - May 2021. Photo: Luc Lodder


Lola Landscape Architects researches and designs spatial transitions of existing cultural landscapes. With ingenious ideas and targeted interventions, LOLA (Lost Landscapes) aims to optimise such landscapes into attractive, healthy and sustainable places. LOLA was founded in 2006 by landscape architects Eric-Jan Pleijster, Cees van der Veeken and Peter Veenstra. The firm now employs 36 people, ranging from landscape architects to urban designers. The firm is based in Rotterdam but works worldwide for national governments, regions, city authorities, non-governmental organisations and project developers.

This exhibition ran from 5 June to 17 October 2021 in the museum gallery of the Glaspaleis. A book was also published to coincide with the exhibition: ‘Landscape Works with Piet Oudolf and LOLA’. It is an extended version of the eponymous exhibition and throws light on five key dimensions of the contemporary landscape.

cover LOLA oudolf.jpg


Logo IBA

This exhibition is created on the occasion of the IBA Parkstad Expo year. For IBA Parkstad, 'Piet and LOLA' are working together on the future Leisure Lane, the 33 km long cycle path through the most beautiful nature of Parkstad, and on the planting around Etzenrade Castle. The exhibition includes a presentation of both projects. The IBA exhibition year takes place from July 2021 to August 2022.

Logo Elements ZW

This exhibition is part of the ELEMENTS cooperation in which contemporary art and cultural institutions in Dutch Limburg, Belgian Limburg, Liège and North Rhine-Westphalia programme around an element related to the region. During ELEMENTS we put the raw materials, the past and present, and the achievements of the Euregion in a conceptual framework. This gives the cooperating institutions the freedom to interpret and programme the elements of the Euregio. 

Logo Ode aan het Limburgs landschap

2021: Ode to the Dutch Landscape
2021 is the national theme year Ode to the Dutch Landscape, in which the special landscape that has inspired artists for centuries is put in the spotlight to connect culture and nature.

Logo Gemeente Heerlen ZW
Logo Provincie Limburg ZW
Logo Sibelco ZW
Logo Fonds21
Logo nai010 ZW
Logo Mondriaan Fonds