Floriade is the World Horticultural Exposition that takes place every ten years, with the next to be held in 2022. The event was set up in 1960 and attracts an average of 2 million visitors each time from around the world. For the next expo there are 4 different cities from the Netherlands who are competing to host the next Floriade.
The competition is already underway and so far there have been two submissions from OMA who represent Holland Central, and MVRDV representing Almere. The winning bid will be revealed by The Nederlandse Tuinbouwraad (NTR) at the end of the current Floriade 2012 in Venlo, in October.
As part of a team including the province of South Holland, eight local municipalities, and ARCADIS, OMA has designed a 60hectare masterplan proposal with a site in the middle of the Randstad, in Zoetermeer, with 5 million inhabitants in a 50km radius. OMA has designed a circular plan that connects a variety ofexisting conditions on the site, all presently related to horticulture: high-tech green houses, a future agro-innovation campus, an Olympic-grade leisure park and traditional Dutch landscape near the source of the river Rotte, which visitors can explore by bike or by boat.
The design focuses the fair’s activities into five concentrated zones covering essential aspects of modern horticulture: technology, innovation, the global market, leisure, and culture. The park includes a 2,500-seat open-air theatre, a Land Art zone, global village, and a cable-car connection spanning across the ring.
The MVRDV plan for Almere is not a temporary expo site but a lasting green Cité Idéale as an extension to the existing city centre. 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. Almere Floriade will be a grid of gardens on a 45ha square shaped peninsula. Each block will be devoted to different plants, a plant library with perhaps an alphabetical order.
At the same time the site will be with a vast program such as a university, hotel, marina, offices and homes more urban than any other Floriade has been before. Winy Maas discusses the plan:” 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 become autarkic”.