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SubZero Pavilion


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Angela Cook

Project Name

SubZero Pavilion


Year Completed



800 sq. meters


Province of Flevoland

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Project Description


During the Floriade in 2022, the Innovation Workshop will function as the Flevoland Pavilion. Here visitors can see and experience the innovations that have been developed in the period leading up to the Floriade.

The design embodies the story of the ‘making of’ Flevoland. What once was water is now fertile ground where people live and work on an average of five meters below sea-level (NAP). The innovative strength of the Zuiderzee project is still felt in Flevoland. Innovative water management, sustainable energy and food production form part of its DNA. The Innovation Workshop portrays this in a unique way. A five-meter thick layer of this fertile ground is lifted up to the NAP-line, hence the name SubZero. The space created underneath this earth mass is enclosed by a reflective façade creating the illusion that the mass floats effortlessly above the ground. The dominant height levels of Flevoland are visible in the pavilion and orchard on top of the building symbolizes its fertile soil. 

Sustainable and innovative
The high ambition of sustainable and innovative building construction will set the tone for the other developments on the Floriade site. The ambition to build a Nature Based building is visible in the form (climate architecture) and material usage. The building makes optimum use of the microclimate with natural shading, passive heating and cooling and natural ventilation. The massive earth roof is optimally utilized to create a comfortable indoor climate all year round. The climate greenhouse with glass solarchimney on the roof is a wintergarden and regulates the natural ventilation. State-of-the-art bio-based and geopolymer materials are applied to with the ambition of keeping the CO2 footprint as small as possible. Closing water, energy, materials, waste, and food cycles as technical solutions are integrated in a didactic manner so visitors can see and experience these aspects in SubZero. In 2016 the basic building will be realised and will continue to develop towards 2022 for the opening of the Floriade. In so doing, it it is not only innovative in 2016 but also in 2022.

Fertile ground for cooperation
Flevoland province develops the Innovation Workshop with businesses and knowledge institutions. Funding is available for the basic building, but the ambition is higher. ‘We literally offer fertile ground,’ explains deputy Jan-Nico Appelman. ‘Together we want to develop the building further and set it up so it provides space for sustainable innovations.’
In the run-up to and during the Floriade SubZero will be the ultimate location where the economic program Floriade Works! is visible and palpable. ‘The building and site offers companies and research institutions ample experimentation or demonstration area. According to the commissioner, ‘It is intended that the Innovation Workshop will be buzzing with activity from the start’.

Seeds for green campus
A letter of intent has been signed with the Aeres group for the use of the Innovation Workshop after the opening. ‘The Innovation Workshop offers our students and researchers in the run-up to Floriade 2022 great opportunities to work together with industry to innovations,’ says Wil Bekkering, director of CAH Vilentum Almere (part of the Aeres group).

The Innovation Workshop is the seed for the development of a green campus. After the Floriade the Innovation Workshop will form part of a campus where knowledge, education, students and start-ups reinforce each other.

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