Almere Waterwood

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Almere is a city with a relative short history and serves as a satelite city from it’s big sister Amsterdam. Almere was built to satisfy the growing demand of housing and most dutch people appealed for a familyhouse, with a garden and a parking place in front of the house. The scale of development in the last 25 years is so big that the interaction between the built area’s is very little. The intervention area will deal with the same problem concerning the relations with the neighbouring land at the south and the north. On the west east axis there is a possibility for Pampushout to connect the citycenter with the waterfront. We decided to focus on this direction with developing our ideas about the site.

The designconcept starts with the roots of Pampushout: seaground. Seaground consists of sand which is shaped bij the current of the water to a curved pattern, by upscaling this curved pattern you get the feeling back that pampushout was once covered with water and that it’s below sealevel. In this pattern we press the routing for the bustrack, the bikes, walking paths, playgrounds and housingblocks. At the waterfront we leveled the whole area with the dike to get a nice view over the water form every place at the plaza. The highered plaza makes a big contrast with the level of the wood behind it. Through the cracks in the plaza you can experience the difference in height between the waterlevel, the dike and the woods. The cracks return in the appartments dividing the whole block into 5 ‘chunks’. Once you’ve left the cracks behind, you’ve entered the woods with the housingblocks. The seaground and the trees dictate the atmosphere in this area.

Future Development
We see this green recreational atmosphere go eastways towards the center of Almere providing a green outgoing axis towards the water. More housingblocks can be developed in a same way towards the center with different densities. This will make the axis more interesting and balanced and feed the waterfont with more public from city center. The waterfront with it’s restaurant, congrescenter, cinema and outdooreventspace will develop in a new center and justify the wide space reserved for these functions.

Housing Blocks
The housing blocks are inverted insideout, which means that compared to a standard building block the entrance is inside instead of outside the block and the garden is outside. By doing so the woodland remains maximized and the builded area is minimized. The beautiful curved seaground landscape with the already excisting trees serves as a common garden. The houses have loggia’s and roofterraces as their own ouside space. In the common garden there are several playgrounds on a flattened surface at te top of the ‘bumps’. The housing blocks press literally harder into the seaground and push the innerstreet, parkinglots and the cars out of sight. By keeping the innerspace-area very thiny and putting the road under the building there is a maximum of green space left. Inside the block the housing types vary a lot, both in surface area as in ‘between the floors’ connections . The buildingblock is designed as a continues volume which doesn’t reveal the complexity of floorplans behind it.
Inside the block there are familyhouses in different sizes, some of them combined with offices and elderly houses which are combined to a group and have a common space.
The entrance of all the blocks is at the eastside .The street underneath the ‘hovering’ block gets it’s light from the top and the sides. The amount of daylight and the view over the landscape generates a feeling of an open space, whilst acting more like a street. From the parkingplace to the house there are staircases which go from the side to the middle. At the end of the stairs there are two frontdoors.
The sleeping rooms and bathrooms are mostly orientated at the innerside, the livingroom and the kitchen enjoy the nice view of the wood.

The appartments are a single block shaped and curved by the elements. The appartments are attached to the dike by a deck which serves as a plaza. In the deck there are cracks which suggest the incoming water from the sea and showing the dutch way of dealing with water. The cracks continue into the appartement block dividing it into 5 pieces. A total of 100 appartments are possible in this configuration, 2 appartments per floor. At the top of the building there is a common terras for sharing the nice view towards the water and the woods. The parking is under the deck and out of sight , the elevator brings you directly to your appartment.
The appartments are made as one block with one outside facade. On the outside there are balcony’s on both sides of the appartment. The facade between two towers is made of translucent material, it gives daylight and privacy and will make the cracks glow in the dark.

The Deck
The waterfront is connected with a deck towards the appartments, this provides a wide public space that can serve for outdoorevents. All the entrances for the public bulding as well as the appartments are at deck level . They share lifts and staircases and are connected with the backbone at decklevel. This backbone is a transparant space which links the deck, the appartments and the program underneath both vertically and horizontally. In the backbone there is space for restaurants, foyer etc. At the waterside there are wharfs attached to the deck to enjoy the view across the water to Amsterdam and to take a step outside the line of the dike. The 4 wharfs start the movement of waves coming over the dike which will result in the cracks visible in the deck. The cracks continue between the appartments and go with a sloping line towards the seagroundlevel 6 meters below. These ramps interweave the woodland with the waterfront and make both worlds easy accessible.

Congrescentre, Restaurant, Cinema and Parking
Under the deck and in the backbone there is room for a cultural program. The restaurant can have two levels providing two different atmospheres (wood and waterfront). Everything is linked by a glass backbone with, stairs, elevators and a nice view at the woods behind. The design follows the shape of the dike and uses it to place the seats of the congres and cinema. In this way you will ‘feel’ the dike when inside. At some places you can actually see this through the cracks. The program underneath is a flexible program, with big mutipurpose-rooms. It can be a cinema at night and a congrescentre by day, the backbone can provide different entrances for these different functions

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