In 2022 the seventh edition of the world horticultural exhibition the Floriade will open for visitors. Multiple cities, both national and international, will exhibit their vision on a sustainable city by customised entries. Also the Gooi and Vechtstreek Region is considering participating.
The Gooi and Vechtstreek
The Gooi and Vechtstreek Region is a green area south of the Markermeer lake, southeast of Amsterdam. Muiden, Naarden and Bussum (the Gooise Meren lake area), Blaricum, Hilversum, Huizen, Laren, Weesp and Wijdemeren are all located in this district, as are the national parks Naadermeer and Gooimeer.
The region is characterised by the prominent presence of the Vecht river, many small and winding rivers, estates, historical fortresses like Pampus island, castles like Muiderslot, and old towns and fortified cities like Weesp and Naarden Vesting. Furthermore, there are the two water defence lines De Hollandse Waterlinie and the UNESCO world heritage Stelling van Amsterdam which are part of the Gooi and Vechtstreek area.
The Gooi and Vechtstreek Region invited Niek Roozen bv to join in designing a concept plan for a potential entry for the Floriade Almere 2022 and to advise in how partaking in the Floriade can benefit the development and identity of the Gooi en Vechtstreek.
History of the area
The Gooi has been inhabited for 13,000 years and is thereby one of the longest inhabited areas of the Netherlands. Around 500 B.C. the first people settled on the banks of the Vecht river, which forms the central runoff of the region. Around 1100-1300 the first agricultural settlements were established on the higher sandy soil of the Gooi.
The Gardens of Amsterdam
Since the 17th century the region became popular among the aristocrats, for whom the riverbanks of the Vecht formed a beloved retreat from the hectic cities of Amsterdam and Utrecht. Many rich Amsterdam merchants came to the area to establish houses, estates and gardens on the levees of the Vecht. The Gooi and Vechtstreek thereby became known as ‘the Gardens of Amsterdam’.
Culture: Fortress land, artist villages and media centre
The Gooi and Vechtstreek is also known as the fortress land due to the many castles, multiple fortresses and fortified cities. Because of the water defence lines, which are UNESCO world heritage, the area is also internationally appreciated.
Aside from this large presence of cultural, historical constructions, the region is known for its art culture. The in 1882 constructed Gooische Steam Train made the area easily accessible. First the pristine landscape and authentic villages inspired many painters and later the architectural modern villas drew the attention of many artists. This community of artists, architects, writers and painters generated the art villages of the Gooi.
Since the ‘30s the first radio shows were broadcasted from Hilversum and later the construction of multiple television studios was set in motion. This attracted many musicians, composers, radio and television producers and other related business to the city, establishing Hilversum as the Media Park of the country.
A pavilion for the Floriade
The Gooi and Vechtstreek is described as an entrepreneurial region, featuring a high quality of live and health care, and as a green blue oasis with a innovative climate and monumental surroundings.Niek Roozen bv desires to present this identity in the design by focussing on the key characteristics of the region: monumental, green and creative. The presence of the cultural heritage is distinctive, but simultaneously the nature is of great significance to the residents and attracts many visitors. The forests, heaths, the Gooimeer lake and national park Naardermeer hold many hiking and bicycle trails. Furthermore, the area is used by many for water recreation on the many lakes like the Loosdrechtse plassen en de Vecht river. Together with the characteristic art villages of the region, these three themes will a solid base for the project.