MVRDV just unveiled a set of plans for the Floriade 2022 horticultural expo in the Netherlands that could transform the city of Almere into a green garden paradise. Instead of a temporary expo site, MVRDV has envisioned a new and permanent green extension of the existing city center where plants and flowers are the main attraction. Rooted in sustainability and ecology, the vast new program is unlike any other Floriade exhibition, and it will even include a university, hotel, marina, offices and homes. Almere Floriade 2022 could be literally the greenest city ever built.
Floriade is a national horticulture expo held every decade in The Netherlands – and Almere wants to be the next host in 2022. To woo the judges they’ve hired MVRDV to create the master plan for their expo site, which is being designed as a beautiful garden city. As a suburb outside of Amsterdam, the city is expected to grow rapidly in the next decade and need 60,000 new homes, so this plan is also designed to accommodate that growth.
MVRDV’s plan calls for an extension to the city center on a 45ha square peninsula on the lake to the south. Conceived as a giant plant library, each block will be devoted to different plants and different programs. They envision the new expo center as a giant garden complete with houses, offices, shops, a hotel, and a marina. There will even be a university, which will be organized as a stacked botanical garden – a vertical eco-system in which each classroom will have a different climate to grow certain plants. Sustainability sits at the heart of the plan – Almere Floriade will produce its own food and energy.
Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV discusses the plan: “We dream of making green cities. A city that is literally green as well as ecological. A city that produces food and energy, cleans its own water, recycles waste and holds a great biodiversity. A city which might even be autarkic: A symbiotic world of people, plants and animals. Can this symbiosis between city and countryside offer essential argumentation to the global concerns regarding urbanisation and consumption? Can we realise in the next ten years an exemplary ‘green’ city which realises this synthesis? And could this city be the Floriade 2022?”