Selected to design the site of Floriade 2022 (the world's largest horticultural expo) in Almere, MVRDV imagines the area as a green extension to the city centre, a lasting Cité Idéal. From jasmine flower hotels and orchard houses to a restaurant in a rose garden and a lily pond swimming pool, this will be the most urban and greenest Floriade to date. The question is, can it be ecologically self-sufficient and still stand as a symbiotic model for urbanism?  


Location: Almere, Netherlands

Year: 2012 – 2022

Client: Municipality of Almere, The Netherlands

Program (selection): 45 ha city entre extension with exhibition spaces, hotels, conference centres, a university campus, a care home and a marina.

Budget: Undisclosed



Amsterdam’s metropolitan area faces an explosive population growth over the next twenty years. Within this expansion, the Municipality of Almere will realise the largest portion of new developments, including 60,000 new homes. Almere has the ambition of increasing its size while also increasing the quality of life for its inhabitants, which usually declines as cities grow. MVRDV already created an urban plan for Almere 2030 and a DIY urbanism plan for Almere Oosterwold and now proposes a third vision: the extension of Almere city centre, opposite the existing centre, transforming the lake into a central feature of the city that would connect the disparate neighbourhoods of the Dutch new town. The proposal creates a world class, energy efficient extension to the city centre, and through its flexibility invites the Floriade organiser NTR to develop the plan further with the city.


The Floriade Almere takes as its premise the simple pleasure of plants and trees integrated into our everyday lives and the city around us. This simple idea will translate into an urban landscape that directly integrates the qualities of different species into the built environment, creating a rich variety of architectural and urban experiences that embrace, rather than eschew, the natural world. Can such a symbiosis between city and landscape be a solution to the rapidly growing resource consumption which results from a rapidly urbanizing planet? Enriching our everyday lives with plants, while creating a world-class, energy- and food-generating city centre will be the challenge of the project over the coming years. The plan is currently seen as a flexible framework for development, which will encourage Floriade organizer NTR to bring its own expertise to the project. The area has the potential to become many things, not least a hub for biological research and industry, which hold such pride of place, both culturally and economically, in the Netherlands.


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 organised alphabetically. The blocks are each devoted to a wide variety of different programs, 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 classroom 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 rose garden. 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 demonstrating how plants, indeed nature itself, enriches every aspect of our daily lives.



Design: MVRDV - Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries

Design Team: Winy Maas, Jeroen Zuidgeest with Klaas Hofman, Mick van Gemert, Chiara Quinzii, Jonathan Telkamp, Elien Deceuninck, Sara Bjelke, Maarten Haspels, Wing Yun and Linda Andersson

Model: Made by Mistake, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

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