Entering the tower through one of the two main entrances brings you to the lobby, where you can order a drink in the cafe and relax, read about the prison’s history and the sustainable character of Johan Cruijff Arena’s special grass pitch, and buy locally grown products in the shop. A large cylindrical translucent water tank catches your eye.
The lobby area has raised gardens, green walls, green roofs and columns covered with climbing plants, giving it a park-like atmosphere. Fresh smells fill the area. There’s an inviting promenade which leads to the building’s upper floors. First, you see the community garden and educational module where children and adults work on their crops, learning and having get-togethers. There’s a feeling of familiarity and camaraderie.
You continue climbing. You get a great view of the new Bijlmer Bajes areas from the terraces. You enter the museum where three floors are dedicated to teaching you interactively about the building’s history, its sustainability and circularity principles, and about the different types of agriculture in the world.
Amazingly, your walk takes you even further, up to the production modules. There you’ll find strange food alternatives, things like mushrooms growing out of Christmas trees, an automated sprout growing system, and, wait, insects and a garden of snails! You didn’t expect that. Anyway, after all that walking, you’ve developed an appetite, and, as luck would have it, the building has an amazing rooftop restaurant with a beautiful garden. This building really has it all.
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