MVRDV is a Rotterdam, Netherlands-based architecture and urban design practice founded in 1991. The name is an acronym for the founding members: Winy Maas (1959), Jacob van Rijs (1964) and Nathalie de Vries (1965). Maas and Van Rijs worked at OMA, De Vries at Mecanoo before starting MVRDV.
Their first realised commission was the new offices for VPRO in Hilversum, Netherlands (1993–1997). Other built works include: Wozoco housing, Amsterdam (1994–1997) and the Dutch Pavilion at the Hannover World Exhibition Expo 2000 (1997–2000). Furthermore a business park ‘Flight Forum’ in Eindhoven, Gemini Residence in Copenhagen, the Silodam Housing complex in Amsterdam, the Matsudai Cultural Centre in Japan, Unterföhring office campus near Munich, the Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam, an urban plan and housing in The Hague Ypenburg, the rooftop – housing extension Didden Village in Rotterdam, the cultural Centre De Effenaar in Eindhoven, the boutique shopping building Gyre in Tokyo, Veldhoven’s Maxima Medical Centre and the iconic Mirad
Current projects in progress or on site include various housing projects in the Netherlands, Spain, China, France, Austria, the United Kingdom, the United States 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.or housing estate in Madrid.
Density and stacking
Gemini Residence, two former silos converted into a residential building in Islands Brygge, Copenhagen
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. This theory has been published in “KM3 Excursions on Capacities” (2006) and in “Skycar City” (2008).
After the KM3 study -dealing with the global issue of urban sprawl and consumption – a “vertical suburb” “Torre Huerta” has been developed and is currently under construction in Valencia, Spain. The ideal suburban plots are stacked into a high-rise residential tower, each home with its own hanging, cantilevered garden and a free standing tree.
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 led 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.
In Pig City MVRDV proposes a novel way of accommodating the population of 15 million pigs that share the Netherlands with 15 million human inhabitants. To provide the large area the pigs need, a new building type is proposed – the high-rise farm. The prototype is an 80 meter high tower. Each level is divided into animal friendly farm areas including outside play areas. The biogas generated by the pigs’ waste is collected as a clean energy source; fish farms inside the towers provide animal food and help reduce transport. Precious countryside is liberated from the polluting bio-industry. The proposal has led to a nationwide discussion in the Netherlands – Europe’s largest agricultural exporter – about the bio-industry. First farming experiments based on the outcome of the study have started.