Construction has been completed on the Flores Tower, the 43.5-meter-tall building at the heart of Almere’s Floriade site, where the 2022 Floriade horticultural exposition will open on April 14. MVRDV, Arttenders, and Flemish artist Alex Verhaest designed its colorful panoramic façade artwork Sympoiesis.
The source of inspiration for the façade was the building’s location, the arboretum that MVRDV designed for Floriade Expo 2022. Using a digital scripting technique, this alphabetical plant and tree library was translated into an artistic composition to be printed onto the glass façade panels of the tower. For the artwork, 1,800 images from databases and university libraries were processed into a layered composition.
The artwork displays the complete collection of trees, plants, and flowers from the Expo. It vertically summarises the arboretum’s planting catalog: the smaller the plant’s image, the further away it is from the building. A legend is incorporated into the plinth of the tower, with the text size and line thickness also indicating how far each plant or tree species is from the tower. In this way, the legend works as a reference for the artwork, but also as a map of the arboretum. In addition, the public can use an app to navigate the site.
“I found the idea of the summary panorama of the Arboretum very appealing”, says Winy Maas, who as co-founder of MVRDV was a member of the Floriade quality team. “Like librarians in the mould of a contemporary Alexander von Humboldt, we have converted 1,800 species into images, a truly painstaking job. Alex’s artistic signature then yields this picturesque total work of art.”
The Flores Tower will be used as a central hub during the Floriade Expo, with catering establishments, shops, and a first aid point on the ground floor, and a restaurant and viewing point on the top floor. After that, it will be given a second life as an apartment building with 80 rental homes, with the eye-catching panoramic work preserved. The masterplan will serve as a starting point for a new sustainable residential area after the Floriade Expo closes.
Flores Tower is a design by Klunder Architecten on behalf of Dura Vermeer and Amvest and is the central hub of the Floriade Expo 2022, which will be held in Almere, the Netherlands, between April and October.