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Press Kit | no. 3966-01
Press release only in English
It is exactly 25 years ago that OMA, the bureau of renowned architect Rem Koolhaas, won the competition organised by new town Almere for the design of a new city centre. The planned city, just a few miles East of Amsterdam and built on land reclaimed from water, wanted a centre with urban appeal. For the individual elements in the extensive plan, Rem Koolhaas approached influential architects and firms whose designs have made a mark around the world. The result of all this is that in Almere Centrum – on less than one square kilometre – one can admire designs by international architectural greats that can be experienced nowhere else in such a compact area.
This makes Almere Centrum, recently declared Best City Centre in the Netherlands, an ideal destination for those who appreciate design and architecture. This young city is attracting more and more architecture enthusiasts from all over the world to come and see for themselves. For these and other interested visitors, the city has mapped out a new architectural walking tour.
Just over 20 years after Almere’s first residents received their keys, the city officials decided it was time to settle on a definitive layout for the city centre. The new city, built on the bed of the former Zuiderzee, was growing rapidly. By 2005 it was expected to have around 180,000 inhabitants. A town that size, deserved a lively and attractive city centre. With the emphasis on ‘city’, because with its wide range of cultural facilities, shops, offices, hotels, bars, cafés and housing, the new centre district would announce that Almere was claiming its rightful place among other important Dutch cities. From the plans of the four competition finalists, that of Rem Koolhaas was chosen. Various aspects of his urban master plan were further developed by such acclaimed names as René van Zuuk, Herman Hertzberger, Cees Dam, SANAA, Claus & Kaan, Christian de Portzamparc, Will Alsop and others. Today the district continues to develop, and architects are quickly inspired to create new designs for this exciting New Town.
Architectural walking tour
The walking tour guide book ensures that the visitor literally stops to contemplate each distinctive design, but also offers examples of other buildings from the same architect’s hand in various cities elsewhere across the globe. It starts, of course, with Rem Koolhaas himself who, jointly with partner Floris van Alkemade, designed several of the buildings now standing in Almere Centrum. Their OMA bureau enjoys worldwide acclaim for such iconic designs as the CCTV building in Beijing, China. The British architect Will Alsop, designer of the Urban Entertainment Center, also designed Sharp Center for Design for the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto. From the very outset, architect and resident of the city René van Zuuk has been responsible for multiple striking designs in Almere Centrum, but also the design of the Architecture Centre Amsterdam (ARCAM). And the examples continue, from France, Germany and the United Kingdom, to even Ethiopia and Indonesia, thus illustrating how unique the collection of architectural works is within this single square kilometre.
The walking tour takes approximately 2 hours. The guide book with route description can be purchased at the VVV Almere Tourist Information shop.
Almere is within easy reach by train or car from Amsterdam and other parts of the Country.
Cooperation between I amsterdam, Almere City Marketing and KAF
The guide book with walking tour is published by Almere City Marketing in collaboration with KAF (Kunstlinie Almere Flevoland), and financed by amsterdam&partners (formerly Amsterdam Marketing) under the project budget ‘Visit Amsterdam, See Holland’. Marketing of the city and the promotion of tourism are priorities for Almere City Marketing.
Modern architecture is a major theme in this programme. VVV Almere, which is part of Almere City Marketing, is mainly responsible for touristic visits that contribute to building a positive image of Almere.
The City of Almere has assigned KAF the task of promoting the city’s architecture – from a visitor-friendly, unique scale model of Almere built from 1.5 million LEGO® bricks, to the biennial organisation of the Architectuurprijs Almere (Almere Architecture Prize). The Architecture Day and the Architecture Biennale are also regulars on the calendar.
About Almere Centrum
Almere’s ultra-modern centre is the perfect destination for a day of shopping and entertainment. Visitors can choose from more than 400 stores. It is not without reason that Almere Centrum was chosen as the Netherlands' Best City Centre in 2017. In Almere Centrum you will find the unique, full-range stores of dozens of major fashion brands such as ZARA, Primark, Superdry, Pull & Bear, Hudson’s Bay and H&M, but also specialty shops such as Bever, Vitaminstore, Rituals, KIKO Milano and Jeans Centre. The many vibrant public squares, full of trendy bars and cafés, offer countless options for a cup of barista coffee, a delicious lunch, an evening drink, or a romantic dinner. Smaller, trendy boutiques can be found in the Passages area. Visitors will be pleased to find they also have access to free Wi-Fi access throughout the shopping precinct.
Apart from the many shops and restaurants, Almere Centrum is home to a multiplex cinema, an extensive library, KAF (the cultural hub), a theatre, and the educational (and thrilling) PIT Safety Museum. Throughout the year, numerous well-attended events are organised for every age group.
The pedestrian-only city centre, designed by international architects such as Rem Koolhaas, is only a 20-minute drive from Amsterdam or Hilversum, and offers a variety of covered parking garages with plenty of capacity. However, the centre is likewise easily accessible by train. The station is located right in the shopping precinct. The city centre is open 7 days a week.
For more information
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