Stadhuispromenade Almere

Almere, NL

Type Design Urban Park
Design 2019-2020
Construction 2021-2022
Location Almere, The Netherlands
Size 4,7 ha
Client Gemeente Almere
I.c.w. BRAND The Urban Agency, Mothership, Jan van der Ploeg, Pieters Bouwtechniek, Knipscheer Infrastructuur, Wilwy, ACO
Team Eric-Jan Pleijster, Giulia Repici, Roberto Coccia, Joost van de Ven, Michael Schoner
Awards 2024 Almere Architecture Prize nominee

Now that the climate is changing faster than desired, it is important for cities to be able to anticipate to the effects. This means that inner cities have to provide more space for water and nature. For this reason, the city hall promenade, before in use as a market square, has been transformed into a natural city park.

Prior to the design inhabitants and visitors to the city could submit their wishes and ideas for the park. The main suggestions were a ‘romantic park’ and space to ‘read, eat, rest’. Based on over 225 submissions LOLA Landscape Architects created a landscape design that reflects all these wishes in the new city park.

The city park will be a piece of nature in the middle of Almere’s city centre, where asphalt and stone make way for greenery. In the middle of the sumptuously planted park, a wide, semi-paved path runs from one side to the other. The removed bricks will be reused in the paths inside and surrounding the park, which closes the material life cycle.

The Municipality of Almere, BRAND The Urban Agency and LOLA Landscape Architects launched a participation process, and encouraged local businesses, Almere residents, and visitors to the city to get involved in the concept phase. Many of the ideas that were proposed now feature in the new park.

Existing pavement will be removed and re-used to create a durable space for urban nature

The new Stadhuispromenade, a complete pocket park within the centre of Almere

1,560 sqm of lush vegetation with flowering perennials, existing and new trees, complimented with a landmark artwork

Re-use of rainwater
Rainwater collection plays a significant role in the new park. During and after large rain showers, the water is transported through a system of gutters that meander through the park. From the lower parts, where it briefly becomes a pond, the water can sink into the ground. These gutters are also built from recycled bricks.

Lush greenery
LOLA drew up a planting plan for the park that gives visitors the feeling that they are walking through nature, full of birds, butterflies and bees. For this purpose, the park will have 1,560 square metres of lush vegetation with many flowering perennials, complimented with both existing and new trees.

Sculptural work of art
LOLA has also designed a 110-metre-long bench that runs as a backbone through the park. This sculptural work of art connects the Stadhuisplein with the Weerwater. The bench consists of nine different elements, all of which are uniquely shaped. It is possible to sit on almost all elements of this playfully winding bench, but there is also a higher part that has a gateway to walk underneath.

Almere reflected
Artist Jan van der Ploeg provides each element of the pendulum bench with a sample of sea-green colors. They are given different light and dark tones in green, blue and purple, in combination with black and uncolored. The high-gloss powder coating reflects what happens in the surroundings. The buildings, trees and plants around it, and especially the people who walk, meet or settle there, are mirrored in it as it were a surface of water.

Almere is one of the few cities that can say that it is built on the seabed. In the Sea-green (Zeegroen) Vision of concept-developer Mothership, all proposed artworks and interventions in the city centre are based on this background. The sea-green is reflected in all the designs.

Variation in the elements of the sea-green seating sculpture

Stadhuispromenade after the the opening in 2022

The park is now a lushly planted urban oasis in the centre of Almere