Almere Stadshart embraced the development and construction of a completely new Town centre. An integrated development with a mix of functions, in the perspective of the large population growth there. A centre that is attractive for shopping, working, living, entertainment and leisurely stay that provides enhanced consistency between the population and the urban identity. Blauwhoed formed together with the MAB development the consortium that was responsible for the development of housing, commercial space, social / cultural facilities as well as the parking facilities of the centre.
In 2007 Almere city won the Neprom Price for Location-development, the integrated approach, constructive, long-term cooperation and high quality urban design, architecture and public space has garnered much praise.
The basis of the urban plan was to walk from the area from the existing Town Hall and Market Square to the Weerwater. To achieve this O.M.A. introduced a raised, curved surface as quiet pedestrian area. In the world below ground level, the car and bus traffic, parking and the supply of goods by means of three loading bays was organized. The connection between the upper and lower ground 'is organized with 6 Open ‘rising’ Points. Thus, a Mega Structure organized in the stacking of the three functional layers - infrastructure - shopping, - living space. Density, concentration, mixing function, differentiation and distinctiveness are the key words in the plan.
On the curved surface shopping and apartments are realized in a somewhat whimsical pattern. The blocks are bisected by a diagonal that connects the two existing dead-end shopping streets of the existing town centre directly to each other and transforms this into an intense shopping circuit. It creates a labyrinth of streets and various squares and public spaces. These public space have the compactness of an organically grown centre with intensive mixed uses. This dense construction of the surface creates a feeling of security. In residential typologies and retail environments, the greatest differentiation is applied. All elements in the plan are developed in respect of and in conjunction with each other. This also applies to public spaces, paving and waste transport.
All building components are connected to the so-called Underground Waste Transport System, a network of steel pipes and collection points. This saves space that can be used for other functions and thus lettable area.