- Lead Architects:Studio Woodroffe Papa
- Clients:Almere Hart CV
- Executive Architect:B+M Architecten
- Country:The Netherlands
Text description provided by the architects. This mixed-use residential project delivers affordable starter homes in OMA’s masterplan for the centre of Almere which delivers shops, 1000 housing units, 2000 parking spaces, a museum, library, and theatre in 12 new urban blocks. Rem Koolhaas, Kazuyo Sejima, Gigon and Geyer, MVRDV, UN Studio, SeArch, Christian Portzamparc, William Alsop, and David Chipperfield have designed blocks in the plan, each with their own architectural expression and character.
One of the key elements of the masterplan plan has been to intensify the city centre with new functions and activities by orchestrating and integrating different ‘urban flows’ - the slow movement of pedestrians versus the fast movement of the cars. OMA’s approach has been to consider different movement systems not as separate layers in the plan, but rather as a super-imposition of interconnected spaces in section. Functions and pedestrian areas are concentrated above an ‘underworld’ of car parking and bus routes and moving from one level to another, or from one movement system to another is achieved in a continuous, seamless way.
Block 7+9, known as ‘The Angle’ is a 150 meter long, 4 storey building located in the north-west edge of the plan is the last phase of development and demands an architectural and urban response that defines the borders of the centre, at the same time mediating between opposing urban conditions: old versus new city fabric, fast versus slow city movement, the lower parking level versus the raised shopping deck.
The mix of private and public functions further increases this complexity with shop fronts orientated to the shopping deck, private balconies orientated to the sun; a protective acoustic sound barrier orientated to the ring road; an open gallery orientated to Almere’s main city square; signage and advertising space for shops.
The form of the building creates a protected south-facing new square sheltered from the traffic infrastructure to the west. An important consideration has been to confront the diverse requirements for the elevation within a singular design concept. Our proposal is to wrap the building in a continuous ‘skin’ of glass and reflective steel panels. This establishes a strong, clear identity while at the same time allowing diversity by responding to local conditions through subtle changes in transparency, opacity, and colour.