People who want to build their own house in the Netherlands find the process a struggle. In particular, finding a site for their home is a problem. In Almere this problem doesn’t exist: over the next 20 years more than 20,000 plots will be offered for sale to private individuals in the area.
Almere Hout already exists; it is a collection of woods and meadows, where here and there a sprinkling of development exists. On the map, one can see the forest hesitantly beginning to fill the new polders. Most proposals for the area have assumed that a great levelling of sand will occur before development, erasing what is already there to form a tabula rasa for building.
MVRDV’s design poses the question of how to use the existing (natural) qualities of the site. What if a design could be more modest, a path here, the extension of existing forest trails there, paths connecting areas of water and so on. A minimal intervention into nature’s processes, and afforestation, rather than deforestation, as site preparation.