The project for the Columbuskwartier housing project and shopping centre is to become one of the most environmentally sustainable projects in Europe. Erick van Egeraat based his design of apartments, retail, restaurant and a public roof garden on four principles: optimal positioning of building and outdoor space, integration of public and private areas, clear logistic lines and a natural and comfortable environment. The Columbuskwartier project is situated at a major traffic junction in a new district of Almere. It will serve as the entrance to the district and as such requires a strong image. The design offers a concept with an outspoken sustainable, open and flexible character that stimulates social interaction. On the Southern side, the roof garden is accessible for the public from street level, covering the supermarket and parking underneath. It is formed by terraces, the highest of which are the gardens of the apartments.
An organic greenhouse and restaurant are also located in the garden. This way, visitors can experience sustainable production in the green house and sustainable consumption in the restaurant and supermarket, all in one location. On the Northern side, retail and the entrance to the apartments are located at street level. Special attention was given to the social aspect of the housing; spacious galleries double as meeting areas with benches and flowers in the corridors. The apartments have a highly flexible layout; they can be set up according to individual demands. The building is composed of shifting volumes stacked on top of each other that rise above a glass facade, giving it a distinct and unique image.