Winy Maas is one of architecture’s most aggressive researchers. Through his office MVRDV and affiliations with universities in Europe and America, Maas produces a seemingly unstoppable stream of insights into the environments in which architects now operate. As an advisor to the educational program of the Strelka Institute in Moscow, the architect is currently contributing to the production of eleven radical visions of the future, based on extrapolating trends that shape contemporary life, in Russia and around the world. Maas recently sat with writer, curator, and Strelka faculty member Brendan McGetrick to discuss his unusual educational trajectory, learning from the conservationist Richard Leakey, facing death in Sudan, and the beauty of architects experimenting with algae.
In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, one of the major changes within cities around the world has been the rise of so-called “privately-owned public space,” a development which has attracted the attention of many urbanists and is still being widely debated. However, for MONU Magazine, the increasing prevalence (and arguably, acceptance) of such privately owned spaces for public use gives us an opportunity to discuss another aspect of public space: interior urbanism. With the rise of the shopping mall and the increasingly diverse functions required by buildings such as libraries, interior spaces now resemble exterior public spaces more and more.
The following interview is an excerpt from the 21st issue of MONU Magazine, in which MONU’s Bernd Upmeyer and Beatriz Ramo interview MVRDV founder Winy Maas, discussing the concept of interior urbanism in the work of MVRDV, in particular in their Rotterdam Markthal, Glass Farm and Book Mountain projects.
Dutch architect Winy Maas has been selected as the curator for the Strelka Institute’s 2014-2015 academic year. One of the co-founders of Rotterdam-based firm MVRDV, Maas also lectures and teaches all over the world, most recently serving as a visiting professor of architectural design at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and as a professor of architecture and urban design at Delft University of Technology.
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Taking place this coming Wednesday, February 20th, Winy Maas, a Netherlands-based architect, urbanist and co-founder of the internationally-recognized firm MVRDV, is scheduled to speak at NewSchool of Architecture and Design (NSAD) at 9:00am PST on the topic of “What’s Next?”. The free lecture includes a discussion on the recent works of MVRDV and the research institute The Why Factory, a think tank directed by Maas in collaboration with Delft University of Technology that develops scenarios and models of the city of the future. For more information, please visit here.
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
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.