SMARTLAND is a multi-disciplinary landscape design office with an international focus. The office is founded by Léon Emmen, Klaas Jan Wardenaar and Roel Wolters. Three landscape architects with backgrounds in industrial design, ecology and forestry, nature & landscape engineering and with each a working experience of more than 20 years.
With our professional roots in the Dutch Rhine River Delta we have gained broad experience in handling spatial quests in densely populated areas, which we project in urban deltas around the world.
From this perspective we focus on the urgent challenges the planet is facing at this moment. We develop innovative, integrated spatial solutions for projects in which landscape, urban planning, water management, ecology, architecture and product design come together. We solve problems that are universal and that go beyond borders with design solutions that are unique and tailor made.
Natural systems form the starting point in our search for solutions. We believe that knowledge and specific experience of the landscape inevitably leads to appreciation and concern for the environment. We make landscape understandable, readable and liveable.
landscape architect / industrial designer
Magalí Sanz Casas
Klaas Jan Wardenaar
landscape architect / ecologist
Pamela Acuña Kuchenbecker
landscape architect / nature & landscape engineer
FOUNDING PARTNERS Léon Emmen | Klaas Jan Wardenaar | Roel Wolters
Léon Emmen is a landscape architect and industrial designer. He designs at different scales in various environments.
His work is a crossover of landscape architecture, architecture and product design. His designs have all the characteristics of 'Dutch Design'. They are layered in meaning and tell a story of place, people and function. The designs are more than just functional designs they have a recognizable signature and breathe the DNA of the genius loci. As a project manager, he manages multidisciplinary complex projects (Marker Wadden, Park21).
He collaborates with professionals in other disciplines, such as ecologists, architects, artists, researchers of social geography, civil engineers, builders, graphic designers, etc. Léon loves large-scale complex projects but also has an eye for the smallest detail.
In his 20 year career he designed and built a large number of projects in the Netherlands and abroad, such as public parks, natural areas, public space and architectural objects like bridges, observation towers and furniture (Griftpark Utrecht).
Klaas Jan Wardenaar, is landscape architect and ecologist. He started his career by obtaining his degree in Ecology at the University of Amsterdam in 1988.
He has broad experience in solving 21st century problems, by projects related to CO2 fixation as climate control (project Volgermeerpolder Amsterdam), projects related to flood protection by integrated dyke strengthening and spacial quality (project Markermeerdijken) and projects in water retention in rural areas (project Laarbeek) and urban architectural projects (project Overtoomse Loft), projects related to ecosystem restoration (project Marker Wadden), projects related to energy (project Windpark Houtribdijk) and projects related to international tourism and recreation (project Park21, project Recreatie Waterland).
As a specialist in Aquatic ecology, Vegetation science and Ecological microbiology he worked at various drinking water companies in the Dutch dune region. Subsequently he studied Architectural design at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, finished in 1996. By that time he combined Design and Ecology in an employment at the Amsterdam office Vista landscape architecture and urban design, which he did for 20 years until may 2016. In 2002 he formalized his skills into Landscape architect at SBA (Stichting Bureau Architectenregister, The Hague).
Apart from this he is active in teaching at Technical University Delft and Academie van Bouwkunst Amsterdam. He has been active in the governmental Committee of Environmental Impact Assessment as a specialist in ecology, ecohydrology and landscape for 15 years, reviewing and advising in about 50 landscape projects. Finally he joined the ARO North Holland, the Advisory board of Spatial Development of this province, to guide its important spatial developments.
Roel Wolters is formed by his training as a landscape architect as well as his education in forestry and nature engineering, developing sustainable solutions for climate change, diminishing natural resources, deforestation and urbanisation.
He started his professional career in 1998, focussing on GIS analysis and large scale landscape design as well as on inner-city green infrastructure and public space design. Relevant projects include the design of new floodplains of the river Rhine, planning of a 100 hectare natural forest and grazing landscape near Eindhoven, development of strategies for regional infrastructural hubs near Amsterdam and a regional study for the urban region ‘stedendriehoek’ and river delta of the ‘IJssel’ river.
In 2004 he obtained his master degree in landscape architecture at the academy of architecture in Amsterdam. He has been working as a landscape architect / project manager on several concrete design projects such as the transformation of a former coalmine ‘Grube Reden’ in Germany. This 125 hectare area is to be transformed in to a modern campus surrounded by parks, biomass production fields and water retention gardens running on geothermal wastewater.
Since 2011 his work is also focussed on sustainable urban planning and landscape design in Asia. Here he worked as a project architect and creative director of a Sino-Dutch co-operation on floodplain designs, wetland parks, agriculture parks and eco-resorts. In 2015 he was invited as guest teacher by the University of the Arts in Nanjing, China, where he organised the workshop: ‘the lost water structure of Nanjing'. The workshop was a quest for creative designs or reinterpretations of Nanjing’s lost water structures; focussing on the benefits of water in public space and the awareness and importance of water in the city. Roel is also a guest teacher / examiner at the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam.
FORMER TEAM MEMBERS Louis Knubben | Yuan Qilling | Chen Yue | Chen Xiangjun | Wang Bingbing | Zhang Yan | Mei Xuecen