Global operating architecture and urbanism practice, devoted to solving urgent issues


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NL Netherlands


About the project Edit

MVRDV is a global operating architecture and urbanism practice, devoted to solving urgent issues. The Rotterdam, Netherlands-based firm, founded in 1991 by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries, is most famous for its radical and progressive architecture – it ranked #44 in Fast Company’s 2010 most innovative companies. The firm gained much admiration for their extraordinary architectural designs. Initially in The Netherlands, for instance with an unorthodox office building for a broadcasting company and with the Silodam, a building that stretches out in the waters of the Amsterdam harbour, looking like a giant container ship. The colourful complex showcases MVRDV’s approach to density – a collection of several different neighbourhoods condensed into one single building.

MVRDV is well-known for its philosophy of densification and multiple space use. Their Studies in Density implies a city that is not only in front, behind or next to, but also above and below. In short a city in which ground level zero no longer exists but has dissolved into a multiple and simultaneous presence of levels where the town square is replaced by a void or a bundle of connections; where the street is replaced by simultaneous distribution and divisions of routes and is expanded by elevators, ramps and escalators where far away is reduced to proximity; and the park is transformed into a stacking of public spaces. In this dense three-dimensional world, spatial quality is no longer translated into morphology or geometry, but in richness, diversity, presence, and proximity.


In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

Its urban-centric designs not only inspire through their audacity. They also embody principles such as building upward and not outward, affordable housing, and carbon neutrality.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

The office researches and debates global ecological issues such as the consequences of urban sprawl, the bio-industry and climate change. Large scale studies and provocative proposals have lead in many cases to a constructive discussion about issues often considered terrifying or to be solved by legislation rather than architecture. MVRDV seeks architectural solutions for ecological issues. Since their formation MVRDV has published visionary studies about global ecological issues, like KM3, a bulky book about how to prevent the suburbanisation of the country side. In their study Pig City, MVRDV proposes it’s controversial thoughts on accommodating pigs in high-rise farms.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

Current projects in progress or on site include various housing projects in the Netherlands, Spain, China, France, Austria, the United Kingdom, USA and other countries, a television centre for Zürich, a public library in Spijkenisse (Netherlands), a central market hall and a cultural centre in Rotterdam, a culture plaza in Nanjing, China, large scale urban masterplans in Oslo, Norway and in Tirana, Albania, an entire new eco-city in Logrono, Spain and a research masterplan into the future of greater Paris. The latter was commissioned by French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoë.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

What is the business model of this project? Edit

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