MVRDV was commissioned by the City of Almere to design a conceptual vision for the city that will accommodate its growth, including 60,000 housing units and 100.000 jobs. The project is more than an urban masterplan; it describes how the city can develop in economic, cultural and social terms. While the number of new houses proposed is impressive, it is not a quantitative effort; the main objective is the addition of new qualities.
Jeroen Zuidgeest has been in charge of the content development and project management at MVRDV.
By realising these ambitions, Almere will grow into the fifth city of the Netherlands in an effort to relief and to offer qualities to the urbanised west of the Netherlands. The growth is proposed to be organised in a series of new nodes, as addition and enrichment to the existing collection of ‘garden cities’. The development will take place along a main axis in four main areas, each having a very specific character: Almere IJ-land, a new island off the coast in the IJ-lake, Almere Pampus, a neighbourhood focussed on the lake and open to experimental housing, Almere Centrum, an extended city centre surrounding the central lake, and Oosterwold, an area devoted to more rural and organic urbanism.
The growth will build upon and further expand Almere’s model of a poly-nuclear city. It will diversify the existing city by adding various densities, programs and characters that currently do not exist yet. The vision consists of four major development areas, each with their own character, logic and identity, connected to Amsterdam by a new infrastructural axis. In-between the two cities the proposed Almere IJ-land (referring to IJ-lake) is a connector, literally as well as in economic and cultural perspective. The axis leads to Almere Pampus, the Centre of Almere and Oosterwold in the east and will in the future be continued to connect Utrecht. The design of IJ-land has been a collaboration with West8 and McDonough and Partners.