Dutch new town Almere plans to grow with 60,000 houses, 100,000 working places and all related facilities. By this Almere will grow into the fifth city of the Netherlands in an effort to relief and to offer qualities to the urban¬ised west of the Netherlands. MVRDV was commissioned to collaborate with the city to design a concept structure vision to accommodate this growth. The growth will take place in four main areas: 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 Centre, an extended city centre surrounding the central lake, and Oosterwold, an area devoted to more ru¬ral and organic urbanism. The design of IJland has been a collaboration with Adriaan Geuze of West8 and William McDonough of McDonough and Partners.
The Axis: Nowadays Almere is a city with 185,000 inhabitants, 30 years ago it was an empty stretch of land reclaimed from the sea. The growth will preserve 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 do not exist yet is the current situation, The vision consists of four major development areas, each with their own character, logic and identity. These new area developments are connected by an infrastructural axis which connects the metropolitan area of Amsterdam with Almere. Between the two cities the Almere IJ-land (referring to IJ-lake) is a connector, literally as well as in economical and cultural perspective. The axis then leads to Almere Pampus, the Centre of Almere and Oosterwold in the east and will in the future be continued to connect Utrecht.
Almere IJ-land: Together with West 8 and William McDonough, MVRDV worked on the unique opportunity to design a series of urban and nature reserve islands. The new rail connection to Amsterdam and a needed ecologi¬cal intervention in the IJ-lake offered the potential to propose the creation of a living area with 5,000 up to 10,000 homes, combined with this nature development. IJ-land combines eco¬logical and infrastructural interventions with the possibility to live and work in a natural riparian environment. The island could also be part of the possible Dutch bid for the 2028 Olympic Games.
Almere Pampus: This area will combine the feeling of a coastal town with high density and make room for 20,000 homes, all streets are all leading to the boulevard at the lake. The existing maintenance harbour will be reused for leisure and floating vil¬lages. There will be a new train station with a plaza at the coast.
Almere Centre: The current centre will grow and extend to the southbank of the Weerwater , turning the central lake into the Weerwater-park and becom¬ing in time the cultural and economi¬cal heart of the city. On the junction of the new axis, a motorway and the rail connection the motorway will be cov¬ered which makes it possible to develop up to 5,000 homes, offices and public amenities. The central station will be developed into an economical hub and will be surrounded with new program.
Almere Oosterwold: This large area in the east of¬fers room for up to 18,000 new homes and a variety of functions such as busi¬ness and retail centres. It will be developed follow¬ing individual and collec¬tive initiatives, from small scale to large scale, with plots that are always sur¬rounded by nature devel¬opment, urban agriculture or local parks. The area will reserve areas for future development after 2030.