gpa architecten's create communial feeling in Almere with colourful changing lights
The centre of a residential area in Almere(NL) contains a shopping and health centre. The 25 year old city centre is showing its first ageing strains. The public area’s, streets and parks that make the public realm are functional but lack the power to create a communal feeling. The centre buildings are the heart of this area.
The new design intends to relate to the inhabitants. A relation that not only aims to bind the potential clients to the shops but also to create a kind of "living room" in the centre of the area. By introducing lights and two spectacular lamps with changing colours the importance of the communal area radiates around.
The large flying objects create smaller intimate outer area’s that are transitional area’s between the outside and the shops. A continuous flow between the communal area’s on the out- and inside.
By introducing extra lights in the centre of the living area adolescents that hang around in the area, till late at night, are discouraged to remain at this place. Since the opening of the shop problems between inhabitants and adolescents are reduced dramatically.
The large elements with a diameter of 5.0 and 8.0 meters are luminated by a series of LED lights with a colour program that can be changed by the shop owner. In this way theme’s can be introduced, like Christmas, next to the shop colours. The long facade on the WimKanPlein is made as an filmstrip, transforming a walk along it into a short film about shopping and the live in Almere. The iron frame and the black concrete create the frames and give the strip an modern but classical look.
The striking design is received as very positive by the inhabitants. The design had let to some worries about the light and possible nuisance in the design stage. Because of this an extra layer of dim coating was introduced on the polyester elements. This coating makes the UFO’s even more luminescent without creating to much gleam.