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The New City Centre

The new city centre is interesting for architecture lovers. Its masterplan was designed by Rem Koolhaas and his Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). The so-called 'curved surface' divides the new city centre into an "underworld" (mainly car parks) and an "upper world" (shops and apartments).

French architect Christian de Portzamparc has designed the beautiful Citadel: a complex of 100 to 100 metres which is divided into four quadrants by two intersecting streets (for pedestrians). Above the car parks there are 50 shops. On top of the shops there are 46 colourful houses, and an apartment flat including 6 apartments and a parking lot for its residents. The terrace of La Place restaurant (on the top floor of warehouse V&D) provides a unique view of the Citadel.

Another distinctive building is the Smaragd ("Emerald"), which includes apartments and a store (Hema). The Smaragd was designed by Gigon and Guyer. Around the corner, at the Forum, are mega cinema Utopolis (by Rem Koolhaas/OMA), The Lake Side apartment tower, also known as Blok 5 ("Block 5"), by SeARCH BV, and The City (by Erna van Sambeek).

 
De Nieuwe Bibliotheek. Meyer en Van Schooten Architecten
De Citadel. Architect: Christian de Pontzamparc
De Citadel. Architect: Christian de Pontzamparc
De Smaragd. Gigon en Guyer Architekten
De Smaragd. Gigon en Guyer Architekten
Winkelpassage, onderdeel van Blok 5. Architect: seARCH bv
Het Forum
Utopolis. Architect: OMA/Rem Koolhaas
Woontoren The Lakeside/Blok 5. Architect: seARCH bv
The City. Architect: Erna van Sambeek
 
De Almeerse skyline
Schouwburg Almere/De Kunstlinie. Architect: SANAA (Kazuyo Sejima & Ryue Nishisawa)
The Wave. Architect: René van Zuuk
The Wave. Architect: René van Zuuk
The Wave. Architect: René van Zuuk

Side by Side. Architect: Frits van Dongen
Side by Side. Architect: Frits van Dongen
Side by Side. Architect: Frits van Dongen
Silverline. Architect: Claus & Kaan
Side by Side (links) en Silverline (rechts)
 
The Skyline of Almere

Anyone who goes further in the direction of the Weerwater (lake) will find a set of extraordinary buildings, which together determine the Almere skyline. Respectively, you'll see Schouwburg Almere/De Kunstlinie (theatre) by Japanese architects SANAA, two residential towers, called 'Side by Side', by Frits van Dongen, the dizzying Blok 16 ("Block 16"), better known as The Wave, by architect René van Zuuk, and apartment tower 'Silverline' by Claus & Kaan.

On the 'Esplanade' (square) there is theatre 'Schouwburg Almere/De Kunstlinie' by Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishisawa, or SANAA. This building was officially opened by Queen Beatrix in 2007. The minimalist detailing and fully open or closed facades are characteristic of the theatre. Stylized simplicity, transparency and light: that's what this theatre is about. From a single storey surface of 100 to 100 metres, three halls extend into the lake Weerwater. These halls have 1050, 350 and 150 seats. As the name indicates, this building has two users: the theatre and arts centre De Kunstlinie, which offers courses, workshops and excursions in music, visual arts, theatre, literature, dance and multimedia.

Next to the theatre, there's a L-shaped composition of two apartment towers, appropriately called 'Side by Side'. These towers were designed by Frits van Dongen/de Architekten Cie. and contain 144 apartments. Apart from their height, the towers attract attention because of their facades, which were made of light blue coloured industrial glass. The mosaic of window frames shows the diversity of housing types (over 20) in the apartment towers. In the base of the towers, there's a winter garden, sauna and gym, especially for the residents of 'Side by Side'. Moreover, there's a private swimming pool (you can see it from the outside), overlooking the lake Weerwater.

'The Wave' has got a dramatic wave-like facade, covered with silver anodized aluminum plate. During the construction of The Wave tunnel formwork has been used, meaning that floors and walls were simultaneously poured in concrete. The building has seven storeys with mainly apartments (42 units). The architect of 'The Wave', René Zuuk, also designed the adjacent white bridge for pedestrians and cyclists.

Another notable apartment tower is the 'Silverline', designed by Claus and Kaan Architects. The top of this apartment tower surprisingly leans over lake Weerwater. However, the reason for this is simple: because most people like to live at the top or bottom of a tower, the top and foot of 'Silverline' is maximized, while the least interesting middle section is minimized. This building has 16 floors, 58 apartments and a car park. The cladding of the main building consists of vertically ribbed aluminum, which makes the tower look silvery.


Urban Entertainment Centre

Directly behind the skyline is the Urban Entertainment Center, designed by British architect William Alsop. This area of approximately 16,000 m2, located above a car park designed by Rem Koolhaas/OMA, includes a store (Mediamarkt) with a colourful facade, music hall 'Muzinq', and the Apollo Hotel. The Schipperplein is a lower square, adjacent to the car park, with a small pond. In winter, when the water of the pond is frozen, everyone can skate on it. 'Muzinq' is a large blob; it's a pop centre with three halls, one accommodating 1200 persons. The Apollo Hotel Almere Centre opened in 2008, it has four floors and 117 rooms. A block of approximately 4,000 m2, which includes the hotel rooms, floats eight metres above street level. It has a beautiful facade of cedar. This section is supported by columns. A blob with a brass cladding is the entrance to the hotel.

 
Winkelruimte. Architect: William Alsop
Muzinq. Architect: William Alsop
Apollo Hotel Almere Centre. Architect: William Alsop
Apollo Hotel Almere Centre. Architect: William Alsop
Het Schipperplein in de winter