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  • Below Sea Level

    Floriade 2022 World Horticultural Exhibition, Almere, The Netherlands

    Text and photos: Pál Lővei

    Organised decennially, Floriade returns to the „beneath-the-sea” tradition of the Haarlemmermeer, which was conquered from the sea back in the 19th century, after „mainland” Venlo. This time, it is held in Flevoland, a region that dried up in the 1950s and 1960s and is now the country’s newest province, on the shores of an urban lake on the edge of Almere, which is rapidly expanding due to its proximity to Amsterdam. On the 60 hectares of water-split land, some units have already been built with a view to future use, such as the green-fronted Aeres College building with its spectacular roof terrace and the Flores apartment block, now functioning as the expo office building, with its glass front and colourful stained-glass floral decoration.
    Seated on the water and defined by tangent circles, the art pavilion will also continue to function the new museum of Almere. The scheme of the future Hortus district is well illustrated by the squares of the exhibition gardens, all of which are already surrounded by a green border of wooded shrubs and bushes planned for the long run. The theme of the exhibition, „Growing Green Cities”, focussing on the impact of green natural environments on the quality of urban life, is explored in the pavilions of the host country.