Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Almere is one of the smallest town in the Nederlands with a population that is around 200 000 inhabitants . The city is new starting from the detailes to the urban planing that is was the result of multiple minds . The visit was impressive not because of the scale of the buildings that are average but because of the fact that everywhere there is a strange newness and as a visitor one can feel that the city is expanding ( the plans are to reach by 2030 the population of 350 000 inhabitants ) . The city is dense and vibrant . One amazing thing about it is the fact that the density of good architecture is extremely high ; the big names are present everywhere : Rem Koolhaas , Mvrdv, Un Studios and Kazuyo Sejima & Ryue Nashizawa are the main ones and their creations are put together in an urban maze that is accentuating each creation as an individual architectural object . As a project the city center is fascinating both from the point of view of the person that walks trough the city that can be seen as a maze and as a space for promenade that is transforming from one building to the other . There are common elements that combine and determine the way the space is perceived by the viewer .The construction is complex and full of suprises and buildings that can be seen as working together and individually . The main city center is elevated from the 0 level of the city to a + 6 meters under witch the cities parking and some circulation is hidden leaving the top part for pedestrian circulation and retail activities .
The articulation between the elevated zone and the outer parts of the cities are made by architects that had the specific assignment to develop these areas trough different methods .
The space is interesting because it has no history and the inhabitants of a city need the historical element with witch to connect relate too , people need past as much as future . In the case of Alemere this is different the way things are constructed and arranged both compositionally and functionally give this city the illusion of a continuous present time . The center is the point were activities combine and generate the mix of programs that usually is found in a central area of a city (cultural nucleus, shopping , entertainment , restaurants and a media complex)
At first sight things can be interpreted a chaotic and with no notion of straightness in the way the buildings are arranged and built because there are no straight streets
the spaces are angular and the trajectories of the circulations produce visual connections between important points of the general space .
The city is still in an incipient faze but it has much to offer because of the way it is expanding and reaching soon the critical mass of inhabitants. When the number of inhabitants will reach this number the construction of new housing will continue and develop into a new area that will be attached urbanistically to the rest of the city like a small satellite designed for housing and accommodation . In the same way things will developed in the future , the houses will be added to the city in new layers making in this way the development of the city to enter in a progressive sort of evolution .
The way the city was conceived is important too because of the way architects had thought about an evolution of it and pre-programed a development project too with it .The city of alemere can be considered an example for development and program related architecture that can evolve, multiply and become a landmark in the same time .
Posted by Marian at 1:08 PM