MaterialDistrict goes Floriade part 1

The International Horticulture Exhibition Floriade is hosted every ten years and this year it is held in Almere, the Netherlands, until 9 October. While the event has gotten some bad press, some more deserved than others, for the (interior) architect, especially one interested in innovative material use, the event is definitely worthwhile. MaterialDistrict checked it out. Today, part 1.

Food Forum
The Flevoland Food Forum was designed to make the story of Flevoland visible. This Dutch province was created by human hands, taking land from the sea. It has fertile soil, making it the perfect place to grow food.

The forum was inspired by the principles of nature-based building, and insofar possible the principles of the circular economy have been used. The ground floor is light, reflective and transparent and refers to the sea-level. The space consists mainly of secondary or recycled materials. The first floor is made mainly with renewable materials with an adobe façade that refers to the fertile Flevoland soil. The 5-meter-thick layer of Flevoland soil brings the building, which stands below sea level, up to the sea-level line.

A number of elements such as the lift, kitchen, lighting and furniture fall under a lease contract. The raised level is primarily made from renewable materials. The structure of this level is built with CLT (Cross Laminated Timber), which was left uncovered.

The adobe facade is combined with cellulose insulation and the CLT inner wall. These renewable materials regulate the moisture balance in a natural way giving Food Forum a healthier indoor climate than a regular building.

The finishing floor on the first floor is made from recycled concrete reinforced with elephant grass (Miscanthus). It is much lighter than traditional concrete and is fully recyclable. The Food Forum is the second building in the Netherlands where this innovation is applied.

The Forum was designed by architectural firm Doepelstrijkers.

The Green Lung
Aeres University of Applied Science Almere moved into a new building on the site of Floriade. It is part of the campus in cooperation with Flevo Campus, a physical place where education research and science come together. ‘The Green Lung’, as the building is called, is “circular, sustainable and climate-resistant.” It is built from circular concrete, saving 48 tonnes of CO2. 60 tonnes of CO2 are saved by using low carbon raw materials, and 50% granulate in all precast floors. Old ship’s floors and short tropical hardwood planks that would normally be destroyed have been used on the roof. The entire shell can be reused.

One of the facades is covered with translucent solar panels to allow sunlight inside. There are also solar panels above the roof, not on it, to allow a green roof terrace. Another façade is covered in various types of plants, which are watered with collected rain water. The system is climate-adaptative: during dry spells, the water is retained; during heavy showers, it drains away via the infiltration system on site.

BGD Architects designed the Platinum WLL certificated school.

Exploded View Beyond Building
The Exploded View Beyond Building, which was on display during Dutch Design Week 2021, is also featured at Floriade. Read more about this project that displays 100+ biobased materials for interior and architectural design that are currently on the market, here.

Photos: Sigrid Lussenburg / MaterialDistrict / Floriade