Artistic playground in Almere Buiten

  • Title
    • Baltimore Bend
  • Concept & Production
    • Arttenders
  • Creative
    • Arttenders x Studio Spass
  • animations
    • Lize Korpershoek
  • Video
    • Amanda Harput
  • Client
    • Municipality of Almere
  • LOCATION
    • Almere Buiten District
  • website

Baltimore Bend is a multifunctional playscape on the Baltimoreplein in Almere Buiten Centrum. It creates space to sit, relax, play and meet. The design is made by Arttenders X Studio Spass. Discover the story behind Baltimore Bend.

The design of Arttenders and Studio Spass is a beautiful combination of park, play and art."

Hilde van Garderen Elderman Gemeente Almere

Designing A place of meaning for Baltimoreplein

Together with various partners, the municipality of Almere is working hard on the urban renewal in Almere Buiten Centrum. The municipality of Almere asked Arttenders to rethink a part of the public space of the Baltimoreplein together with the inhabitants of the City. The goal? A playful meeting place in line with the urban renewal with the ultimate wish to create a new icon for Almere Buiten.

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Participation during Covid – Design competition

How can we engage families to participate in the design for  Baltimoreplein? Especially since COVID-19 had eliminated all types of physical gatherings. Arttenders designed an innovative alternative for public participation. We created a contest to invite the youngest of Buitenaren to actively help design the square.

In this project, all children of Almere Buiten (and everyone else)  were invited to think as a real designer during last spring holidays. The creative input of the kids was collected as input for the design process. The toolkit for this contest consisted of a handout and inspirational tutorials by Lize Korpershoek. Each household was send a handout, that invited children to rethink their urban space the way a designer would. It unlocked the potential of many young design talents and gave us an insight in their wildest dreams and wishes.

All creations were uploaded on Instagram using #onzebuit. The best submissions were used as a starting point for our artistic design teams.

Four designs and a voting round

Arttenders collaborated with artists to develop four different design concepts for a playscape. Buitenaren were invited to cast a vote on their favourite design.

Inspired by the city, the neighborhood and the creative ideas of the Buitenaren, four artists made their interpretation of the wishes of the neighborhood, as gathered trough the creative participation campaign. The artists Arttenders collaborated with remained anonymous so everyone could give their impartial opinion.

The voting consisted of two parts: the verdict of the professional jury and the voice of the audience. And the professional jury represented by stakeholders from the district. It included representatives of the Municipality of Almere, the business association Almere Buiten Centrum, art ambassadors of Almere Flevoland and the hotel Holiday Express Almere.

Liquid Landschap Arttenders Almere
De Golf Arttenders Almere
Park Fructose Almere Arttenders
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The voting consisted of two parts: the verdict of the professional jury and the voice of the audience. The professional jury represented by stakeholders from the district. It included representatives of the Municipality of Almere, the business association Almere Buiten Centrum, art ambassadors of Almere Flevoland and the hotel Holiday Express Almere. For the public voting an content campaign was designed, to invite the Buitenaar to vote on their favorite design.

Alderman Hilde van Garderen of Gemeente Almere and Arttenders’ Faye Ellen had the honor of revealing the winning design: Baltimore Bend!



Making Baltimore Bend safe and sound

Baltimore Bend is inspired by the colors, nature and existing architecture of Almere. It’s not a playground as you know it, but an invitation to explore: a playscape that invites you to fantasize, play and meet each other. After the selection of the design, our design team has worked hard with Studio Spass to develop the first sketch design into the final design whilst staying true to the artistic framework.

The design had to be fine-tuned by the design team in close consultation with various departments of the municipality of Almere. From lines of sight, safety regulations, safe play and interaction, technical construction, maintenance, water regulation on the plot and the finest detailing: nothing was left to chance.

To test the interaction of Baltimore Bend with its surroundings, Studio Spass constructed a miniature model of Baltimore Bend, not only showing the shape and modes of interaction, but also its play of shades on its surroundings.

Baltimore Bend by Arttenders x Studio Spass
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FROM Design to FInished product

In Leeuwarden at the workshop from Mannen van Staal a test set-up has been build. The workers have been welding, polishing and coating 35 meters of steel. In the meantime 7 piles are driven into the ground on site to make sure Baltimore Bend is super secure. No wind or water will be strong enough to take Baltimore Bend down.

Arttenders X studio Spass baltimore bend Almere social design
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The next steps? The steal parts will be transported from Leeuwarden to Almere as special cargo. On location it will be welded together. A kids proof floor will be put under the design in Playtop by our partner Van Vliet and then.... a festive reveal!

Will you join us for the grand reveal beginning of 2022? Follow us to find out when this will happen and more updates on Baltimore Bend.