2 December 2020

Studio Ossidiana to build a floating art pavilion in Almere

In early 2020, the municipality of Almere and the province of Flevoland invited five up-and-coming architects to submit a design for an art pavilion, a precursor to a new art museum to be developed later. The jury unanimously chose Studio Ossidiana’s poetic plan, merging architecture, art and nature, which offers visitors a stimulating experience both indoors and outdoors. The pavilion will open at the start of the Floriade Expo in April 2022. It will function as an annexe and testing ground for the new museum for at least five years.

In the coming years, Almere wants to become the Netherland’s fifth-largest city. Alongside housing, its new facilities must raise the city’s appeal. The government, the province of Flevoland and the municipality of Almere are working together to achieve this through the Almere 2.0 programme. A new art museum is a high priority. Instead of establishing one immediately, it was decided to first experiment with a prototype: a temporary art pavilion for activities over the coming years, with plenty of room to develop and test new ideas. Five emerging architects working at the intersection of architecture and visual arts were invited to submit a design proposal. An expert selection committee unanimously chose Studio Ossidiana’s conceptual and accessible design. It appeals to all of the senses and effectively represents Flevoland’s extensive Land Art collection.

The design: The Port, The Stage and The Observatory
Studio Ossidiana was inspired by the sea that the province of Flevoland replaced and the Weerwater Lake, where the pavilion shall stand. Their design features three circles: The Port, The Stage and The Observatory. The Port is a ring-shaped promenade on the water, where visitors can walk and which allows for outdoor programming. The Stage is an island that also serves as a terrace, but will drift like a floating platform in strong winds. The Port is made from a terrazzo developed by Studio Ossidiana, which uses shells, mussels, clay and charcoal in reference to Flevoland’s soil. The Observatory has two exhibition spaces and is located on the third circular platform. It offers a dreamy view from the inside and out. The lightweight polycarbonate cylindrical façade filters and reflects the hues of the water and greenery. The visitors’ silhouettes cast through the façade’s carefully designed openings create an artistic spectacle.

New art museum
The art pavilion is a precursor or annexe to a new art museum to be built in Almere in the next five to ten years. Led by Denise de Boer, this museum will focus on accessible, appealing art, with an emphasis on large-scale multimedia art and landscape art. The starting point is the singular character of Almere and Flevoland, where innovation, space, courage and nurturing talent are vital. Collaboration with Floriade Expo 2022 The pavilion will be located at the heart of the world horticultural exhibition Floriade Expo 2022. After Floriade, the site will be developed into Hortus, an innovative, sustainable residential area, with the art pavilion as a key attraction.