MaterialDistrict goes Floriade Part 4

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, the final part, part 4 (part 1, part 2, and part 3).

The Voice of Urban Nature pavilion
This pavilion, designed by Overtreders W, is a collaboration by the municipalities of Amsterdam and Almere, and aims to show how you can build a city with nature as an equal partner. The walls are made of bulrush lime and hemp lime, made from Amsterdam bulrush, Almere hemp with lime from oysters from Zeeland and from the drinking water of Amsterdam. The material is coloured with common madder, a plant that has been cultivated in the Netherlands traditionally, as its roots can be used as red dye.

The letters on front of the pavilion are 3D printed from algae and sugar cane.

Save Plastics
A large part of the plastic waste ends up in the incinerator or in nature. This is not only polluting, but also a waste. Save Plastics has built a Tiny House from 7.400 kilo of plastic waste.

Sustainable bridges
At Floriade, there are five sustainably built bridges. The first, the Second Life Bridge, is almost completely made of ‘second hand’ materials, without the use of new materials. Constructed by Dura Vermeer, the concrete main girders come from the old bicycle and pedestrian bridge over the A27. The steel crossbeams have their origin in an old facade support construction. The wooden deck girders and planks are sawn from old hardwood sheet piling and railway sleepers. Second-hand tubular steel piles were used as the foundation and the railing was sawn from old railway sleepers.

The Bever Bridge, designed by René van Zuuk architects, was intended to be reused from the very beginning. It is a road bridge for the heaviest traffic class, with a pendulum in connection with the beaver present in its beaver castle in the water of the Floriade park. The bridge is fully reusable and made of maintenance-free and cement-free concrete. In addition, the bridge absorbs water, CO2 and particulate matter. The planters absorb CO2 and particulate matter and the water is collected. For the raw materials, material produced from Almere residual flows are used for the construction of the bridge. This gives the residual flows a second life, making a contribution to CO2 reduction and the circular economy.

In August 2020, the construction of the ‘Rondje Weerwater’ bridge on the Floriade park started. Rondje Weerwater is a bicycle-foot bridge. The bridge is made, among other things, of cementless concrete (also called geopolymer concrete) in which urban residual flows from the recycling platforms, urban cleaning and the public area of ​​Almere are processed. By using this concrete instead of regular concrete, 65% of CO2 emissions are reduced. The cementless concrete is made by the Theo Pouw group in collaboration with recycling company Cirwinn in Almere.

The Smart Circular Bridge is part of an EU project and made of flax based biocomposite. Read more about this bridge here.

In addition to biobased materials and cementless concrete, you can also see the first living bridge of the Netherlands, made of living trees. Living bridges, consisting of tree roots, have been made in India for almost 500 years. Rea more about this practice here.

After Floriade
So what happens with everything build in Floriade after the exhibition ends on 9 October? A green and car-free district called Hortus will constructed in its place. The bridges, the arboretum and a number of buildings will not be demolished and instead form part of this city district.

Photos: Sigrid Lussenburg / MaterialDistrict / Floriade