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Garden in the Machine

Part 2 Project 2021
Daniël Van der Woude
Delft University of Technology Delft | The Netherlands
Almere is a new town on new land, without a ‘proper’ history, having always been framed in terms of the abstract needs of the Amsterdam metropole. The tabula rasa landscape constructed after clearing the wilderness of the reclaimed land accommodates industrial agriculture and houses the displaced communities of Amsterdam. Urban collectivity can only be experienced in relation to the metropole, while modern farming has had ruinous ecological effects. However, the new town's utopian nature allows for another new beginning.

Situated on the threshold between the neoliberal urban-farming masterplan by MVRDV and the agricultural expanse, the collective farm is a counter-project to both. By providing a public interior for the potential market-garden community, it can work together with research institutions to practice and experiment with alternative forms of agriculture, undoing the damage of modernised agriculture. Using earth from the surrounding plot, the farmyard is raised and stabilised to allow for vernacular structures to be build, creating a constructed wetland appropriated by wildlife. The figure of the barchessa functions as an urban image and threshold between town and country, allowing the community to engage in a dialogue with
the land, and to be represented in their relationship to it.

Daniël Van der Woude


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