dutch firm rau developed a proposal for a supermarket in the city of almere, as part of a sustainable community complex, which also includes shops and adaptable housing for senior citizens.

almere, was established in 1975 and is the largest city in the dutch province of flevoland, an area entirely reclaimed from the sea during the 1950s and 1960s. this young city is europe’s fastest growing urban area and currently has 185.000 inhabitants.

rau: supermarket, almere the main entrance into the supermarket

the community complex is situated in the ‘almere poort’ district, an area which is still in the early stages of its development. due to its location in between existing settlements, the ijmeer lake and the open countryside, almere poort unites urban and rural areas.

rau: supermarket, almere aerial view of the area

the community complex provides 28 sustainable apartments for senior citizens, a community shopping centre with a well-assorted supermarket, a ground-level parking garage and a park. the apartments are accommodated in three towers located on the eastern side of the plot.the park is elevated to first level height and stretches out over most of the plot. it functions as a green roof for both the supermarket and the parking garage. a passage providing access to shops and parking spaces is carved into the hovering green roof. the walls of the passage are clad with glass and thus allowing indirect daylight to penetrate into the shopping centre and the parking area. through the north-south alignment of the passage the amount of direct sunlight entering the building is minimised. preventing direct light from entering the buildingconsequently saves energy for cooling.

rau: supermarket, almere the rooftop of the supermarket

as a natural layer of isolation absorbing sun energy, the rooftop park plays a key role in the cooling of the community centre. moreover, the green layer collects rain water, which can also be used for cooling shops. the remaining rain water is recirculated into the ground water cycle. the excess warmth of the shops can be used to heat the adjacent apartments.