Island Living in Suburbia?

After the experimental residential neighbourhoods 'De Fantasie' (Imagination) and 'De Realiteit' (Reality) were completed in the 1980s, other notable neighbourhoods were built, especially as a result of a construction exhibition, named 'BouwRai Expo'.

Entire neighbourhoods were designed and built, namely the Muziekwijk neighbourhood (1990) and the Filmwijk neighbourhood (1992) in the centre of Almere, and more recently the Eilandenbuurt (Islands neighbourhood) (2001) in the outskirts of Almere.

The theme of the Rai Construction Expo 2001 was 'consumer oriented building', where the intention was that the houses would meet the specific individual needs of their future residents. Because of different factors, such as a lack of cooperation between the parties and lack of time, this goal wasn't fully achieved.

Nevertheless, the residents did have a voice in the matter to some extent. Thus, the so-called 'Pakhuizen' (Storehouses) on the Bonairepier, for example, look the same on the outside, but (apart from the fixed core with stairs and pipes) the interior parts of these houses can be freely assigned by their residents.

 
 
 
A Rainbow-Coloured Neighbourhood

Next to the Eilandenbuurt (Islands Neighbourhood) in Almere is the Regenboogbuurt (Rainbow Neighbourhood). The 'Onkel Toms Hütte' (1926-1932), designed by German architect Bruno Taut in Berlin's Zehlendorf served as inspiration for this colourful neighbourhood.

Besides blocks in all colours of the rainbow there are some buildings that not only stand out by their colour, but also by their shape. In the Chartreuse- and Chamoisstraat, you'll find the yellow tower houses by Wickham Van Eyck Architects.

Along the Lage Vaart canal (in the Pastelstraat) are three red coloured high-rise flats, the 'Rooie Donders', designed by Liesbeth van der Pol. Their form refers to the grain silos that once stood here.

The project 'Klein India' in the Hennahof (Henna courtyard) was also designed by Liesbeth van der Pol. It consists of 72 houses, a garden and a pond.

The streets in the Regenboogbuurt all have names having to do with colours. Besides, many houses are coloured in the colour referred to in their street name!

 
Almere Poort

Almere Poort is the newest district of Almere and still developing. Almere Poort currently includes the Europakwartier (Europe Quarter), Homeruskwartier (Homer Quarter), Olympiakwartier (Olympia Quarter) and Columbuskwartier (Columbus Quarter). Each quarter has its own character. For example, in the Columbus Quarter the main focus is on sustainability. There you'll find streets with houses standardly equipped with solar panels on top, which offers a unique appearance.

In Almere Poort you will find a wide variety of homes, also because there is plenty of room for people who wish to personally shape, or even build, their new home. In some streets in Almere Poort, every single house is different.

In parallel with the development of the various quarters all necessary social facilities have been built, such as schools, a medical centre, shops, bus stops and train station Almere Poort. In addition, there are some special buildings to be found, such as the Topsportcentrum Almere (arena) and KindercASLa, which has the shape of a pink cake and which was designed by a child.

 
 
Other Special Houses

The bright orange Overgooi Villa, also called Villa of Five, in the district Overgooi (located directly behind the dike 'Gooimeerdijk-Oost') attracts a lot of attention. This villa was designed by NEXT Architects, commissioned by a collective of five individual residents. Thus, the villa consists of five different homes. In 2008, the Villa of Five was nominated for the Golden Pyramid, the state prize for inspirational commissions.

In the vast district called 'Tussen de Vaarten', there are some notable houses as well. For example, the 'geluidswalwoningen' (noise barrier houses) by Tangram Architects and a green chain of apartments along the Hoge Vaart canal (in the Renoirstraat) called 'TWOFACE' by NIO architects.

Finally, the pyramid-shaped houses at the waterfront in the Victoria Regiastraat (in the Bloemenbuurt - Flower Neighbourhood - in the outskirts of Almere) are admired by many people as well.