Sunday, September 30, 2012

Floriade 2022 Will Be Massive Green Oasis In Almere

Floriade is an international gardening exhibition held every 10 years. Instead of temporary infrastructure, MVRDV envisioned a 45-hectare permanent expansion of the city, conceived as a green peninsula covered in gardens

Responding to the rapid population growth in Amsterdam’s metropolitan region, the plan provides 60,000 new homes in a Cité Idéale, which includes a university, offices, conference centers, a marina, and leisure facilities.

The ambition is to combine innovation, a sense of surprise, and a high quality of life in order to deliver the greenest and most sustainable Floriade ever. The peninsula will produce food and energy, clean its own water, and recycle waste. “This is our chance to realize the ideals MVRDV has been promoting for the last 20 years. We are thrilled to be working on this exciting project,” says MVRDV’s Winy Maas. ”

MVRDV is also the planner for the Almere 2030 vision, which aims to turn the city (the youngest in the Netherlands, built in 1976) into the country’s fifth largest metropolis.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Almere Plan Wins Floriade 2022 Competition

The Dutch city of Almere has won the bid for the Floriade 2022 and will host the prestigious world horticultural expo in the year 2022. The exposition takes place once every ten years in the Netherlands and is currently ending in Venlo. The MVRDV-designed plan for Almere seeks to be not a temporary expo site but a lasting green Cité Idéale as an extension to the existing city center.

The Almere/MVRDV concept beat out fierce competition from Boskoop with OMA/Rem Koolhaas, Groningen with West 8, and Amsterdam Bijlmer with MTD Landscape Architect.

Overview Almere Floriade 2022 (Image: MVRDV)
Click above image to enlarge. 

Project Description from the Architects:
The waterfront site opposite the city centre will be developed as a vibrant new urban neighbourhood and also a giant plant library which will remain beyond 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. 

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 ever been before, it is an exemplary green city.

Image: MVRDV
Click above image to enlarge. 

Amsterdam’s metropolitan area stands at the verge of a large population growth. Within this development the city of Almere will realise the largest new developments with 60.000 new homes. Almere has the ambition to realise the urban growth with improved life quality for its citizens. 

MVRDV is already urban planner for Almere 2030 and the DIY urbanism plan for Almere Oosterwold and now proposes the extension of Almere city centre opposite the existing centre, transforming the lake into a central lake and connecting the various neighbourhoods of the Dutch new town. 

The plan foresees a dense exemplary and green city centre extension which at the same time is for now very flexible: An invitation to the Floriade organiser NTR to develop the plan further with the city.

Image: MVRDV
Click above image to enlarge. 

Winy Maas: “With Almere the Floriade has a new approach. We will build a 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 of urbanisation and consumption? We will realise in the next ten years an exemplary city which realises this synthesis. This is our chance to realise the ideals MVRDV is propagating for the last 20 years. We are thrilled to be working on this exciting project.”

Image: MVRDV
Click above image to enlarge. 

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. The blocks are also devoted to program, from pavilions to homes, offices and even a university which will be organised as a stacked botanical garden, a vertical eco-system 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 centre 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.

Image: MVRDV
Click above image to enlarge. 

MVRDV is involved in a series of projects for the city of Almere and has engaged in vast research concerning urban farming, urban density and many aspects of modern agriculture. In 2000 MVRDV realised the Netherlands pavilion at the Hanover World Expo. Almere was one of four remaining candidate cities, Amsterdam, Groningen and Boskoop region.    

Program (selection): 45ha city entre extension with panorama tower, green housing exhibition (22.000m2/115 homes) 30.000m2 hotel, university (10.000m2), conference centre (12.000m2) various expo pavilions (25.000m2) smart green house (4.000m2), care home (3.000m2), childrens expo, marina, forest, open air theatre, camping and other facilities (25.000m2).

Floriade 2022 goes to Almere

The Dutch Horticultural Council (NTR) awarded Almere the 7th edition of the Floriade in 2022. The council elected Almere over the municipalities of Amsterdam, Groningen and region Boskoop. 

The Floriade provides Almere with an international culture and leisure environment in which nature is central. In the creation of the Floriade, innovations, both for horticulture and for green cities, are shared.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

City Almere Selected To Host 'Floriade 20221"

The Dutch Horticultural Council (NTR) announced today that Almere will host the 7th edition of the Floriade to be held in 2022 .

 "We are proud that the Council selected horticultural Almere over  the municipalities of Amsterdam, Groningen and region Boskoop , " Municipality of Almere reported.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

'Floriade 2022' Announced Monday, September 24

The Dutch Horticultural Council will announce on Monday, September 24 at Kasteel Keukenhof the location for 'Floriade 2022.' 

Four candidates remain in the race: Almere, Amsterdam, Region Boskoop and Groningen.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Almere 2022 To Be The Greenest City Ever Built

MVRDV just unveiled a set of plans for the Floriade 2022 horticultural expo in the Netherlands that could transform the city of Almere into a green garden paradise. 

Instead of a temporary expo site, MVRDV has envisioned a new and permanent green extension of the existing city center where plants and flowers are the main attraction. 

Rooted in sustainability and ecology, the vast new program is unlike any other Floriade exhibition, and it will even include a university, hotel, marina, offices and homes. Almere Floriade 2022 could be literally the greenest city ever built.

Almere, Floriade 2022, MVRDV, green city, horticulture expo, the netherlands, landscape architecture

Floriade is a national horticulture expo held every decade in The Netherlands – and Almere wants to be the next host in 2022. To woo the judges they’ve hired MVRDV to create the master plan for their expo site, which is being designed as a beautiful garden city. As a suburb outside of Amsterdam, the city is expected to grow rapidly in the next decade and need 60,000 new homes, so this plan is also designed to accommodate that growth.

MVRDV’s plan calls for an extension to the city center on a 45ha square peninsula on the lake to the south. Conceived as a giant plant library, each block will be devoted to different plants and different programs. They envision the new expo center as a giant garden complete with houses, offices, shops, a hotel, and a marina. There will even be a university, which will be organized as a stacked botanical garden – a vertical eco-system in which each classroom will have a different climate to grow certain plants. Sustainability sits at the heart of the plan – Almere Floriade will produce its own food and energy.

Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV discusses the plan: “We dream of making green cities. A 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 urbanisation and consumption? Can we realise in the next ten years an exemplary ‘green’ city which realises this synthesis? And could this city be the Floriade 2022?”

Monday, September 3, 2012

Synergy of Nature and Technology at 'Floriade.'

In a world of flesh and cellulose, who holds the power?  Do we, the flesh, hold the power to cut down the trees, or do the trees hold to power to relieve us of our air once they are gone?  This attitude of mutually assured destruction is the wrong way to go about creating balance.  Like it or not, we are stuck with each other.  But plants do not have to be a constant hindrance to human expansion, and humans do not have to be a grim reaper for the woods and forests.

Ewa in the Garden: 8 photos of most impressive green roof building at Floriade 2012 | Eco-friendly roofs:  green, white, and garden |
This summer when I visited Floriade, the once-per-decade World Horticultural Expo in the Netherlands, I had the privilege to see the power and beauty of what can be done when man doesn’t just accommodate nature, but embraces it and folds nature and technology together.  A house that grows its own food on the walls, buildings made from living trees that heal themselves when damaged and home-sized algae reactors that can clean the air and provide valuable biomass were only a few of the innovations present at Floriade.
There were houses that processed their waste to charge electric cars, and lighting systems that captured natural sunlight and released it at night without any need for electrical power.  But even more impressive than the technology present at the expo was the cooperative presence of over 20 countries.  Each contributing country constructed a pavilion incorporating the national architectural aesthetic as well as a botanical technology innovation.  If we were lucky, the national pavilions were also serving their national dishes.
Chicken curry odors wafted and gemstones sparkled from the Nepal pavilion. Sambouseks from Turkey made mouths water from hundreds of feet away.  Wood carvings and jewelry from Sudan showed the artistic side of a country torn apart by strife.
Countries from every continent were represented, from Yemen and Turkey, China and South Korea, Spain and Italy, Indonesia, Nepal, Ecuador, Kenya and even Pakistan and Sudan.  Visiting each pavilion was like taking an international flight to the country itself.  The smells, the plants, the architecture and the garden styles were all emblematic of the host country, and all were as different as the countries themselves.
In a time when the world is becoming more and more concerned about our ecological future, Floriade was a literal and metaphorical breath of fresh air, reminding visitors that human ingenuity reaches beyond finding better ways to mine, cut and burn.  When our minds are set to the task, we can create art that we can live in, and industry that is beautiful to look at.  We can create self-sustaining environments that contain more biodiversity than any other place on earth.
This international and inter-species cooperation represents a new paradigm of where our society should be heading.  One country changing its environmental policy will have little effect if other nations do not follow suit.  What Floriade demonstrated was that even the most industrial nations, even the countries with their minds set on expansion, can do so with absolutely no harm to the environment.
The technologies that come out of such an endeavor can often bud off technologies that, even with no practical value, can provide an aesthetic alternative to existing technologies.  Hanging gardens in your kitchen, kitchen tables made of grass and flowers that will use the crumbs you spill as compost, the list goes on.
And just when you think that the walk-around naturalism is becoming too much to handle, you can take a ride on a cable car gondola 300 feet above the park powered by 100 percent solar energy.
Technology is not anti-nature, and nature is not anti-technology.  The two can coincide beautifully, and with better results than if either were working independently.  You do not have to visit Floriade to understand how beneficial such a mindset can be.