„We regard our exhibition at the aut as a compelling medium to start a thoughtprovoking dialogue about our future together, where visions, aspirations, ambitions, and attitudes blend to create new meanings.“ (MVRDV)
Headquartered in Rotterdam and with offices in Paris and Shanghai, MVRDV is currently one of the most successful architectural firms in the Netherlands. About 250 architects, designers and urban planners are working on buildings and urban projects of all types and sizes and all over the world.
The office was established in 1993 by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries, three architects who studied together at the TU Delft and were awarded their first prize in 1991 with the contribution „Berlin Voids“, winning the „Europan 2“ competition in Berlin. With innovative and experimental buildings, in which irony and risk-taking are intertwined, MVRDV became internationally known in a relatively short time.
In 1997 they realised their first residential building project „WoZoCo“ in Amsterdam on the basis of a building site that seemed too small for the client‘s wishes. They -presented a playful concept, in which additional units are used as monumental cubes suspended from the main volume, a solution that met with approval and was implemented. According to the motto „Holland creates Space“, they designed the Dutch Pavilion at Expo 2000 in Hanover in the form of six landscape types stacked on top of each other in a structure without outer walls, which together formed an independent ecosystem. This was followed by striking residential projects such as the „Silodam“ (Amsterdam, 2003), reminiscent of a loaded container ship, or the „Mirador“ high-rise building (Madrid, 2005), where small residential units are arranged around a huge airspace. One of MVRDV‘s most frequently published projects is the market hall in Rotterdam, which was completed in 2014. It is 110 metres long, 70 metres wide and 40 metres high and is a building shell with around 250 apartments, spanning a gigantic hall for market stalls, restaurants and shops.
The variety of formal solutions makes it clear that MVRDV is less concerned with developing a specific architectural style. They are much more interested in design methods that can be used to research issues such as programme, context and typology that affect the respective project.
Each project is developed in interdisciplinary teams, „tried out“ and not „made“ from the outset. As the most important tool within the design process, the office has, over the years, developed its own language, a vocabulary that helps to explain to others and to itself what is being done, why it is being done and how their projects can be used to communicate ideas and set changes in motion.
With „stack“, „pixel“, „village“ and „activator“, the exhibition curated by Nathalie de Vries embodies central concepts within the design process of MVRDV in the form of four towers. Through each of the four openings of the former brewing kettles a tower rises, which takes up a theme of the working methodology of MVRDV in content and form and raises central questions of shaping our future: collectivity, diversity, social issues and sustainability. The specific design of each of these towers already conveys the respective theme, which is deepened by models, projections, manifestos, discussions, films, etc. by and about MVRDV.