Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Almere Floriade 2022 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands by MVRDV
July 10th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: MVRDV
The City of Almere presents today its plans for the Floriade 2022 candidature. Almere is one of the four Dutch cities left in the race for the prestigious horticultural Expo which takes place once every ten years in the Netherlands and is currently open in Venlo. The MVRDV plan for Almere is not a temporary expo site but a lasting green Cité Idéale as a green extension of the existing city center. The waterfront site opposite the city center will be developed as vibrant new urban neighbourhood and giant plant library which will remain after the expo. The ambition is to create a 300% greener exhibition than currently standard, both literally green and sustainable: each program on the site will be combined with plants which will create programmatic surprises, innovation and ecology. The site with a vast program such as a university, hotel, marina, offices and homes will at the same time be more urban than any other Floriade has been before, literally constructing the green city. The Nederlandse Tuinbouwraad (NTR) will decide in October which city will be organizing the next Floriade in 2022.
Amsterdam’s metropolitan area stands at the verge of a large housing growth. With 60,000 new homes the city of Almere will receive the largest share of this new development. Almere has the ambition to combine the urban growth with improved quality for its citizens. MVRDV proposes the ‘green’ extension of Almere city center opposite the existing center, transforming the lake into a central lake and connecting the various neighborhoods of the Dutch new town. The plan foresees a dense exemplary and green city center extension which at the same time is very flexible: an invitation to the Floriade organizer NTR to develop the plan further.
Winy Maas discusses the plan: “We dream of making green cities. City that is literally green as well as ecological. A city that produces food and energy, cleans its own water, recycles waste and holds a great biodiversity. A city which might even be autarkic: A symbiotic world of people, plants and animals. Can this symbiosis between city and countryside offer essential argumentation to the global concerns regarding urbanization and consumption? Can we imagine that in ten years an exemplary ‘green’ city will demonstrate this synthesis? And could this city be the Almere Floriade will be developed as a tapestry of gardens on a 45ha square shaped peninsula. Each block will be devoted to different plants, alphabetically organized plant library. The blocks are also devoted to program, from pavilions to homes, offices and even a university which will be organized like a stacked botanical garden, a vertical ecosystem in which each class room will have a different climate to grow certain plants. Visitors will be able to stay in a jasmine hotel, swim in a lily pond and dine in a rosary. The city will offer homes in orchards, offices with planted interiors and bamboo parks. The Expo and new city center will be a place that produces food and energy, a green urban district which shows in great detail how plants enrich every aspect of daily life.”
MVRDV earlier developed the Almere 2030 master plan and the radical DIY urban plan for Almere Oosterwold, and has engaged in vast research concerning urban farming, urban density and many aspects of modern agriculture. In 2000, MVRDV realized the Netherlands pavilion at the Hanover World Expo. Almere is one of four remaining candidate cities besides Amsterdam, Groningen and Boscoop region. In October the winning scheme and city will be announced by the NTR.
Program (selection): 45ha city enter extension with panorama tower, green housing exhibition (22.000m2/115 homes) hotel (30.000m2), university (10.000m2), conference center (12.000m2) various expo pavilions (25.000m2) smart green house (4.000m2), care home (3.000m2), children’s expo, marina, forest, open air theater, camping and other facilities (25.000m2).
MVRDV was set up in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) in 1993 by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries. MVRDV and they engage globally in providing solutions to contemporary architectural and urban issues. A research based and highly collaborative design method engages experts from all fields, clients and stakeholders in the creative process. The results are exemplary and outspoken buildings, urban plans, studies and objects, which enable our cities and landscapes to develop towards a better future.
Early projects such as the headquarters for the Dutch Public Broadcaster VPRO and housing for elderly WoZoCo in Amsterdam lead to international acclaim.
MVRDV develops its work in a conceptual way, the changing condition is visualized and discussed through designs, sometimes literally through the design and construction of a diagram. The office continues to pursue its fascination and methodical research on density using a method of shaping space through complex amounts of data that accompany contemporary building and design processes.
MVRDV first published a cross section of these study results in FARMAX (1998), followed by a.o. MetaCity/Datatown (1999), Costa Iberica (2000), Regionmaker (2002), 5 Minutes City (2003), KM3 (2005), and more recently Spacefighter (2007) and Skycar City (2007). MVRDV deals with global ecological issues in large scale studies such as Pig City as well as in small pragmatic solutions for devastated areas of New Orleans.
Current projects include various housing projects in the Netherlands, Spain, China, France, the United Kingdom, USA, India, Korea and other countries, a bank headquarter in Oslo, Norway, a public library for Spijkenisse , Netherlands, a central market hall for Rotterdam, a culture plaza in Nanjing, China, large scale urban plans include a plan for an eco-city in Logroño, Spain, an urban vision for Oslo or the doubling in size of Almere, Netherlands and Grand Paris, the vision of a post-Kyoto Greater Paris region.
The work of MVRDV is exhibited and published world wide and receives international awards. The 75 architects, designers and staff members conceive projects in a multidisciplinary collaborative design process and apply highest technological and sustainable standards.
Together with Delft University of Technology MVRDV runs The Why Factory, an independent think tank and research institute providing argument for architecture and innovation by envisioning the city of the future.
Proofread by Natasha Gangal
Category: City Center
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