A Look at 'Firm of the Year' MVRDV’s Latest Architectural Projects

MVRDV's Wego House
MVRDV's Wego House | © Zhang Chao
Photo of Amber C. Snider
Home & Design Editor28 August 2018

Dutch studio MVRDV – founded by Nathalie de Vries, Winy Maas, and Jacob Van Rijs in 1993 – was recently named Architizer’s 2018 ‘Firm of the Year’ as part of the annual A+ Awards. From China to Poland to Taiwan, here’s a look at the winning firm’s most recent projects.

Tianjin Binhai Library in Tianjin, China

Tianjin Library | © Ossip van Duivenbode

Completed in 2017, the Tianjin Binhai Library is part of a master plan to provide a cultural district for the Chinese city of Tianjin. The futuristic library is MVRDV’s “most rapid fast-track project to date,” according to their website, and went from a sketch to a fully realized building in only three years. Structural and design highlights include vaulted arches, a luminous, spherical auditorium called ‘the Eye’ and floor-to-ceiling bookcases.

Silhouette in Moscow, Russia

Silhouette in Moscow, Russia | © MVRDV

Located in Moscow, Russia, Silhouette is a mixed-use building with flexible workspaces, a sky deck, residential apartments, a sports center, and retail space. The design concept won best proposal by developer GK Osnova and features a red ceramic façade that complements Le Corbusier’s neighboring Tsentrosoyuz Building, built in the Constructivist style in 1933. The 78-meter-tall building is slated to become a “symbolic gateway to Moscow.”

(W)ego House for China’s Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\ Architecture

MVRDV's Wego House | © Zhang Chao

Debuting at Dutch Design Week 2017 and again at Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\ Architecture, (W)ego House is an installation of several rooms designed to fulfill “idealistic but egoistic perspectives in a limited space”. The eye-catching, playfully colorful ‘house’ was designed in collaboration with think tank The Why Factory and showcases alternative ways to optimize urban space through adaptable housing.

IJburg Agora in IJburg, The Netherlands

MVRDV's Ijburg Agora, Down On The Docks | © MIR

Located in the heart of IJburg in The Netherlands, IJburg Agora is a programmatic concept inspired by the Greek Agora, which translates to ‘a gathering place’. Led by principal architect Jacob van Rijs, the design proposal for IJburg Agora features public indoor and outdoor spaces that allow for recreational social interactions in the port city. The concept includes a hotel, cultural center, family houses, rental apartments, an art-film house, food hall and sports facilities.

MVRDV's IJBURG, Shelter | © MIR

JUT Group Lecture Hall in Taipei, Taiwan

JUT Group Lecture Hall in Taipei, Taiwan | © Jut Group

In collaboration with Argentinian artist Alexandra Kehayoglou, MVRDV transformed JUT Foundation’s 240-square-meter lecture hall into a verdant landscape. The large-scale, wall-to-wall textile installation is made up of hand-tufted recycled threads that mimic natural textures such as moss, water, pastures and trees. The JUT Group Lecture Hall in Taipei was completed in 2017.

The Milestone in Esslingen, Germany

Milestone in Germany | © MVRDV

MVRDV’s new mixed-use office building in Germany features a transparent, interactive crystal-rock façade and open geometric core. The 12-story building was selected by RVI developers to become a “new milestone” and focal point in the historic city of Esslingen, with an anticipated construction start date of 2020. “This building shows Esslingen to all people who pass by on trains and will become a new symbol to reflect its past heritage and future,” says Winy Maas, MVRDV’s co-founder. “The façade with fritted glass will have QR codes integrated on to it informing visitors about Esslingen’s people, landscape, and histories which makes the building an interactive library for all.”

Bałtyk in Poznan, Poland

Baltyk building | © Ossip/ MVRDV

Balancing “‘old’ and ‘new’ architecture,” Bałtyk features a concrete, glass-fronted façade and an unusual, staggered yet linear form. Completed in 2017, the 25,000-square-meter mixed-use tower is located on the site of the former Bałtyk cinema, from which the building takes its name. All four sides of the structure are entirely different, making the new landmark tower a refreshing addition to Ponzan’s historic site.

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