architecture on site
1976 the new town Almere was founded on the reclaimed land of the
Flevopolder. The separation of the different types of traffic and the
widespreaded single-family neighbourhoods made it difficult to create
high quality urban spaces. Almere has long been, above all, a
concentrated suburban settlement of single family houses. Within thirty
years the city has grown rapidly and has now approximately 195.000
inhabitants, claiming its position as fifth-largest city of the
The young city has always experimented a lot with different sorts of housing types. These experiments often resulted in new neighbourhoods with remarkable architecture. After 'The Reality', 'The Fantasy' and the 'Film quarter', the 'Eilandenbuurt' (Island District) is the most recent and outstanding example. Under the title 'Gewild Wonen' ('wished living') different architects incorporated the issue of flexibility into their designs. The private clients were highly involved in the design of their future homes, an uncommon situation in the Dutch architecture practice.
By now Almere is the self declared " self building city" and the possibilities for participation of the inhabitants and future citizens the focus and test field / field of experiments when developing new city districts. Almere Poort with aimed 11.000 new dwellings focusses on different target groups. First results are to be seen in the Homeruskwartier. The plans Schaalsprong 2.0 and Noordfleugel aim on further growth, a better link of Almere with Amsterdam and Utrecht and most important on new perspectives for potential inhabitants in most different phases of life with attractive opportunities for businesses and big firms, most different possibilities for sports and education.
Topics: new towns, housing, experimental urbanism, participation, garden city, new town centre, living and working, sustainability.