MVRDV presents ‘urban beads’ for Almere, Netherlands
Almere, founded in 1984 on reclaimed land, is growing fast into becoming the fifth largest city of the Netherlands. After realizing a new city centre Almere now is building a new urban neighbourhood “Olympiakwartier”, at its Western border close to Amsterdam, which will introduce urban density.
MVRDV will design a series of different elements that will be used to compose nine dense urban blocks. The elements aim to achieve great variety in design and function and will be accompanied by a series of ‘specials’ that will be designed by Dutch and international offices under quality supervision of MVRDV and housing association Stadgenoot.
The strategy is comparable to a bead necklace which can be composed of a variety of different or repeating elements. The elements can be exclusive and inexpensive, large and small and repeat in different colors or materials. The plan allows for individual development of the elements within the grid: a dense urban mix of living and working within some of the elements, flexible elements facilitating transformation and development leading to a complex urban condition. Retail, an urban square and gardens are also part of the comprehensive plan.
Housing association Stadgenoot commissioned MVRDV to be architect and planner for 60,000 sq m work space, 120,000 sq m housing (1,000 homes), 15,000sq m education, 2,000m2 commercial space, 2,640 parking spaces and various public spaces.