We had the incredible opportunity to interview Winy Maas, the M in MVRDV, one the most influential contemporary practices, which has been able to push the boundaries of our field in different scales, from buildings to master plan, from construction to theory. In this interview Winy shares interesting thoughts on the role of the architect and how he runs this design/research practice.
Upon graduating in 1984 from the RHSLT Boskoop in landscape architecture, Winy Maas (Schijndel, 1959) resumed his education at Delft University of Technology where he completed his degrees in architecture and urbanism, graduating in 1990 with honors. Shortly after and together with Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries, Maas founded MVRDV in 1991.
Since then, the Rotterdam-based practice has earned a leading role in international architecture. MVRDV’s first commissions, both located in the Netherlands, included the television center Villa VPRO and the housing estate for elderly WoZoCo. Maas lectures and teaches throughout the world and actively takes part in international juries. Currently, Maas is a visiting professor of architectural design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is professor in architecture and urban design at the faculty of architecture, Delft University of Technology. Prior to this, he served as professor at Berlage Institute, Ohio State and Yale University. In 2008, Maas founded The Why Factory (t?f), a thinktank on future cities at Delft University of Technology where he remains director. You can see an example on the Urban Farming In Numbers video.
Maas is also a member of the research board of Berlage Institute Rotterdam, president of the spatial quality board of Rotterdam, supervisor of the Bjorvika urban development in Oslo and advisor to the city of Almere. To add to his ever-growing list of achievements, Maas has been made honorary member of the AIA, received the international fellowship of the RIBA and the French Legion d’Honneur. In addition to being an architect, he designs stage sets, objects and was curator of Indesem 2007.
MVRDV projects previously featured at ArchDaily:
- Balancing Barn
- The Water Cube (Yeosu Expo 2012)
- Le Monolithe
- Celosia Building
- Market Hall
- Almere 2030
- Westerdok Apartments
- Didden Village
- Sky Village
- D.I.Y. Urbanism
- Glass Farm
- The Cloud
- Master Plan for Bastide Niel
- Flowerbed Hotel
- Alphabet Building
- Comic and Animation Museum in Hangzhou
- Guosen Securities Tower
MVRDV‘s proposal for an urban development in Almere Oosterworld, the Netherlands, is a template for a D.I.Y. project that puts power into the hands of neighborhoods and communities. This development strategy is bottom-up, inclusive and very intuitive to the needs of individuals and their communities. It allows the design to develop organically and over a stretch of time as needs change and neighborhoods grow. MVRDV writes that the proposal “is a revolution in Dutch urban planning as it steps away from governmental dictate and invites organic urban growth in which initiatives are stimulated and inhabitants can create their own neighbourhoods including public green, urban agriculture and roads”.
Find out how it’s done after the break.
Rembrand developers, the town of Schijndel and MVRDV recently started construction on the Glass Farm, a multifunctional building in the village square of the small Brabant town of Schijndel. The building, with a total surface area of 1600m2, will contain shops, restaurants, offices and a wellness centre. The exterior is printed glass with the motive of a typical local farm. Construction will be completed in December 2012. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Despite the controversy, the South Korean developer plans to move forward with MVRDV‘s design of The Cloud. The Dutch firm has received harsh criticism after releasing their design for the two residential towers that will be built in Seoul’s redeveloped Yongsan business district. Unconvinced by MVRDV’s sincere apologies, critics remain outraged, claiming the design resembles the collapsing World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
White Paik, spokesman for the Yongsan Development Corporation, states, “Allegations that it [the design] was inspired by the 9/11 attacks are groundless.” Further stating that there will be no changes to the project. Construction will begin in January 2013 and The Cloud is scheduled to be completed in 2015.
Connected by a cloud-shaped section halfway up the buildings, the additional program will include sky lounges, restaurants and a swimming pool. View more information on the design here on ArchDaily.
Reference: The Sydney Morning Herald
The Urban Community of Bordeaux (CUB) and MVRDV recently presented the master plan for Bastide Niel, a 35ha extension of Bordeaux’ city center onto the right bank of Garonne River. The dense urban master plan will offer 3200 homes, offices and urban amenities, respect the existing fabric of the city and become one of the largest zero energy neighborhoods in the world. Construction is to start in 2014. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Dutch firm MVRDV has received harsh criticism since they revealed the proposal for two luxury residential towers in South Korea, named after its inspiration, The Cloud. The two towers are connected by a “pixilated cloud of additional program.” Critics are outraged, stating the design resembles the collapsing twin towers of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
MVRDV spokesman Jan Kinkker stated, “We’ve had quite a lot of calls from angry Americans saying it’s a disgrace. 9/11 was not the inspiration behind the design, the inspiration was a real cloud.” He added, “It was not our intention to create an image resembling the attacks nor did we see the resemblance during the design process. We sincerely apologize to anyone whose feelings we have hurt.”
Project developer Dream Corporation selected The Cloud design proposal over a number of other options and will have the final say on whether or not they will consider another alternative.
The Cloud: Two Connected Luxury Residential Towers by MVRDVis a residential development of the Yongsan Business district. A 260 meter tall tower and a 300 meter tall tower are connected in the center by a pixelated cloud of additional programs offering amenities and outside spaces with wide views. The towers with a total surface of 128,000m2 are expected to be completed in 2015. More images and project description after the break.
The 19.500m2 Flowerbed Hotel and conference center, designed by MVRDV, will be devoted entirely to flowers and will be located next to the future Bloomin’ Holland theme park and business center. The hotel with include 280 rooms along with 2.100m2 flowerbeds and host tourists and business travellers. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Our friends from Studio Banana TV shared with us their interview with MVRDV‘s Winy Maas. Founded in 1993 by Maas along with Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries the firm has produced impressive works among them the well known Balancing Barn and WoZoCo. In recent news (featured just this week on ArchDaily) MVRDV along with COBE were chosen as the winners of an international competition for their design scheme to transform a former concrete factory into a multifunctional creative hub.
In the video Maas discusses a number of MVRDV’s projects including their Market Hall project in Rotterdam and The Why Factory (T?F) which was established at Delft University of Technology in 2008 as a thinktank for future cities. Earlier this year Maas was recognized for his design contributions in France by receiving the French Legion of Honor.
The MVRDV and COBE scheme for the transformation of a former concrete factory into a multifunctional creative hub was chosen as the winner of an international design competition. The masterplan proposes an informal transformation of the 45.000m2 site into a dense neighborhood, incl. 8.000m2 existing factory halls, organized around a plaza for events. Three new volumes will be added on top of the halls: The 11.000m2 ROCKmagneten consists of The Danish Rock Museum, The Roskilde Festival Folkschool incl. student housing, and the headquarters of the famous Roskilde Rock Festival. They share program in a public creative communal house. The museum with a total of 3.000m2 will be completed as the first phase in 2014. More images and architects’ description after the break.
This week, with the help of our readers, our Architecture City Guide is headed to Madrid. As the third largest city in the European Union, Madrid is the economic and political capital of Spain. The streets and neighborhoods for the most part remains historic, but the city is punctuated with moments of engaging and interesting contemporary architecture. For those who have followed our city guides, you will have noticed that this is our second stop in Spain. That said, Madrid is distinctly different from Barcelona. The differences between the two are manifested in their architecture, both old and new. Our lists only cover relatively recent projects, but a quick glance at the two will give you a sense of the differing cultures and lifestyles (Barcelona’s City Guide). Both lists are far from complete and we are looking to add to them in the near future. In the meantime add more of your favorites to the comment section below.
The Architecture City Guide: Madrid list and corresponding map after the break.
This week, with the help of our readers, our Architecture City Guide is headed to Amsterdam. With its numerous canals, Renaissance architecture, and bike friendly culture, it is hard not to fall in love with Amsterdam. Also, if you love modern or contemporary architecture one could hardly argue against making this city the first stop on a tour of Europe. Our list of 24 buildings hardly does justice to this amazing city, but it will certainly give those less familiar with the city a starting point. We will be adding to our list in the near future, as we didn’t come close to incorporating all our readers’ suggestions. In the meantime add more of your favorites to the comment section below.
The Architecture City Guide: Amsterdam list and corresponding map after the break.
Amsterdam based project development corporation NIC started sale of the MVRDV designed Alphabet building. In Amsterdam small and mid-size creative companies have trouble finding suitable office space. The Alphabet building communicates through a clear exterior design which reveals on the East façade the house number and at the main façade the extension for each company, a letter of the alphabet. The interior is highly flexible and completed with a rough and pure finishing. The 3200m2 creative industry building will be completed in 2012 according to high energy efficiency standards.
The prestigious recognition of France’s Legion of Honour, was recently bestowed upon MVRDV’s Winy Maas. A French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, on 19 May 1802, it is the highest decoration in France and was given to Mass by French Ambassador to the Netherlands Mr. Jean-François Blarel.
MVRDV has become active in France, currently part of a think tank – Atelier du Grand Paris (concerned with the future planning of Greater Paris) and a number of architecture projects throughout France including: the refurbishment of a Dijon Mustard laboratory into a call centre and incubator, Le Monolithe in Lyon, they are also working on Caen’s port refurbishment, and the Pushed Slab energy efficient office building.
Hangzhou urban planning bureau has announced MVRDV winner of the international design competition for the China Comic and Animation Museum (CCAM) in Hangzhou, China. MVRDV won with a design referring to the speech balloon: a series of eight balloon shaped volumes create an internally complex museum experience of in total 30.000m2. Part of the project is also a series of parks on islands, a public plaza and a 13.000m2 expo centre. Construction start is envisioned for 2012, the total budget is 92 million Euro.
More images and architect’s description after the break.
The city of Dijon and Teletech International have chosen MVRDV to transform a disused Dijon Mustard laboratory completed in 2004 into an innovative call centre with an education centre, incubator and social program. Transformation through reuse is one of the contemporary issues in European architecture since the current crisis. Completion of the 6000m2 refurbishment is planned for 2012. More images and complete press release after the break.
The new headquarters building for the Guosen Securities Corporation in Shenzhen, China, is to be the new symbol for the dynamic corporation that needs to be energy efficient and a pleasurable working environment in the new century. The Guosen Securities Tower by MVRDV is a project driven by the creation of good views and direct daylight for every worker in a compact floor plan of 1849m2 where no workplace is further than 11 meters away from the façade. Stacking these floors leads to a 204 meter tall tower with a square floor plan and an elegant, slender volume.
More on this project by MVRDV after the break.
Currently under construction Future Towers, a vertical city proposed by MVRDV, is part of the first phase of Amanora Apartment City. The design of 1,068 apartments & public amenities, as a part of a large scale housing development with a total of 400,000 sqm comprising 3,500 apartments is a response to the demand for housing in the rapidly growing city of Pune, India. The competition for the Future Towers design was won by MVRDV in November 2009. This is MVRDV’s first project in India presented to the public, who are currently also working on a range of projects in Mumbai and Bangalore.