The Dutch city of Almere has appointed the team of Design Erick van Egeraat and Amvest as the exclusive partner for the realization of the Floriade area and district as the result of a European tender in December 2018. The area will become a truly green, sustainable, and circular city district. The Floriade is the Dutch horticultural exhibition held every 10 years and, traditionally, houses structures that incorporate and showcase sustainable values of the time. Temporary structures are dismantled at the end of the 6-month exhibition, only a couple of main buildings remain, as a testament. For the 7th edition, Erick van Egeraat proposes to go even further. For the district to retain its value and success, it would make sense to introduce a mix of typologies of residential development, creating the foundation for the first truly sustainable Dutch neighborhood.
The building for the Dutch Innovation Experience (DI-X) is designed to house the main exhibition, organized by the Floriade, with the themes: Green, Food, Health, and Energy. The building has been designed to be the most bio-based building in the world, made entirely out of renewable materials, both during and after the Floriade expo. This means that the materials used should not only be recycled or composted after use, but the source materials should also be regrown within a certain period of time after harvesting. In the second phase of the project, the expo structure will be expanded with modular housing units until a 5-storey level. During the Expo, the pavilion will have a green roof structure that can later be repurposed as cover for the limited car parking elsewhere on the Floriade terrain.
The building in its finished state would count 5 floors and a total of 77 innovative apartments, with the possibility of creating 38 more on the ground level, instead of the planned commercial function on the ground level. It will be the most bio-based building in the world, with a support structure made out of Cross Laminated Timber, and a façade cladding made out of cork. The bio-based materials are not only chosen on the visible parts, but also the walls and floors, soundproofing, and thermal insulation are made out of bio-based alternative materials, with the exception of the air-handling, waste, and electrical circuits, because of regulations and building standards.
The building for the Floriade Dutch Innovation Experience represents Erick van Egeraat’s forward-thinking approach to solving affordable housing with the integration of the most modern and sustainable contemporary concepts. Furthermore, it is one of the first housing projects in which a very high environmental ambition is successfully integrated into a business case for rental housing.