Playful identity through product innovation
The development of the Gnome Parking, a garage with 413 parking spaces, is part of the expansion of the centre of Almere-Buiten. Almere-Buiten is characterised by an abundance of greenery and a clear, uncluttered urban structure. In terms of architecture, many experiments have been carried out with innovative materials and constructions. These are also characteristics of the Kaboutergarage.
Completed in March 2011
413 parking places
14.500 m2 GFA
The special facade of the Gnome Parking consists of perforated panels that were specially developed in cooperation with a manufacturer from the automotive industry and a facade construction company. By means of deep drawing techniques, figures of characteristic images of the province of Flevoland and the city of Almere, such as birds, windmills, garden gnomes and bird houses, were ‘pressed’ into the perforated facade panels. The relief of the panels gives the garage the appearance of an enlarged tin box during the day. The inside of the garage is flooded with daylight because the façade panels work like a veil. In addition to the necessary social safety, this also ensures pleasant natural ventilation inside the garage. In the evening, the façade acts as a luminous object, which also makes the immediate vicinity socially safer.
“I like that there is a high level of transparency, it is quite difficult to do.”
The special facade of the garage contains natural elements, such as integrated planters. Copijn tuin- en landschapsarchitecten took care of the planting of this facade. For each facade, specific plants were chosen to match the orientation of the facade.
Next to the Gnome Parking, Mei realised a municipal library. It also houses a creative centre, an amusement arcade, a grand café, a car park and a bicycle shed. The façade of this building consists of wooden panels that refer to wooden panelling and panel doors made of brown composite. In combination with the climbing plants hanging from the façade, the building acquires a homely atmosphere within the centre of Almere Buiten.