- by COBE
Almere, founded in 1984 on reclaimed land, is growing fast into becoming the fifth largest city of the Netherlands. After realizing a new city centre, Almere is now building a new urban neighborhood, Olympiakwartier, at its Western border close to Amsterdam.
The masterplan for the Olympiakwartier was designed by MVRDV and consists of a series of plots with predefined heights and design constraints. Different architectural offices are attached to these plot numbers. The success of the Olympia project is not dependent on each architectural office making iconic design statements, but on attempting to make a coherent urban fabric.
COBE was commissioned to make a B20 building in plot H2 and a B36 building in plot F3 in the masterplan. Both buildings are residential and B-types, so called in-between buildings with two visible facades and a roof.
The H block is one of the 2 most northern blocks in the Olympia Kwartier. COBE’s H2 type 36 is situated between a tower to the west and one to the east. Instead of approaching our position between 2 towers as a negative, COBE ’s approach has been to turn this inferior size into a positive design generator. By pushing and pulling in both the street façade and the courtyard we are able to peak out past our neighbours and create an optimized façade with bay windows and balconies.
Being squeezed in-between the two towers becomes the overall design expression for the building. The squeeze is 90 degree angled bay windows and 90 degree angled balconies. Seen from the street and the courtyard, this gives an amazing irregular expression. By playing with an alternating open and closed rhythm in the street façade, a 3 dimensional pattern is made.