Almere, founded in 1976 on reclaimed land, is growing fast into becoming the fifth largest city of the Netherlands. After realizing a new city centre, Almere now builds Olympiakwartier as a secondary centre. Amsterdam based housing association Stadgenoot commissioned MVRDV to be planner for 60,000m2 of flexible work space, 120,000m2 housing (1,000 homes), 15,000m2 education, 2,000m2 commercial space, 2,640 parking spaces and various public spaces. This total has been split into 82 volumes of which MVRDV will design 40. In order to reach a great urban variety within the ambitious plan, 42 of the in total 82 buildings will be designed by 24 different architecture offices from Europe, Japan and America.
The plan demands individual development of the buildings: a dense mix of living and working leading to a complex urban condition. Retail, a public square and communal gardens are also part of the comprehensive plan which introduces inner city life to the mostly suburban typology of Almere. Flexibility is a key objective: All ground floors and part of the office and apartment buildings are designed to facilitate future change of use.