Posts tagged with "MVRDV":

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MVRDV designs a pancaked urban living room for Shenzhen

Rotterdam-based firm MVRDV has been selected as the winner of a competition to design the new Shimao ShenKong International Centre, a mixed-use collegiate complex to be built in Shenzhen, China’s Universiade New Town. Described as a “multi-level urban living room,” MVRVD’s typically captivating and interestingly massed concept, Shenzhen Terraces, beat out 27 other submissions from an array of international architecture firms. Founded in 2001, Shimao is one of China's largest real estate development companies. MVRDV's vision for the center doesn’t take the form of a single terraced building. Rather, the concept calls for a park-like campus populated by a cluster of “stacked plateaus” of various heights that will include a library, art gallery, and much more with an emphasis on culture- and education-focused programming. The largest layered structure, with its middle scooped out to form a monumental, semi-outdoor atrium, will feature a bus terminal and a conference center. All of the structures, which resemble flat sedimentary pebbles or stacks of thin misshapen pancakes, will be connected by a series of walkways that form a continuous, elevated pedestrian route throughout the just-north-of-one-million-square-foot compound. Although MVRDV has packed a lot in, Shenzhen Terraces will ultimately be a sheltered hangout space that shields students from the sometimes-brutal natural elements of South China. Writes MVRDV:
“The terraces are adapted to serve a diversity of functions: large overhangs shield the visitors from the hot sun, while offering places to sit and enjoy the view. These shaded terraces create places for plants and water basins that cool the verandas and create a climate buffer to the interiors. The edges of the terraces dip at strategic points to form connections between the various floors and to double as small outdoor auditoriums. In other places, the facades are pushed inwards to emphasize entrances and create recognizable places within the scheme to help visitors orient themselves.”
Like other MVRDV projects, Shenzhen Terraces was designed to have a low environmental impact, with the firm going as far to call it a “sustainable hub” for Shenzhen's sprawling Longgang District. “The abundant planting and water features reduce the local temperature and provide habitat for urban wildlife, while gardens and rainwater collection generate food and water resources,” writes the firm. “The concrete used in the buildings themselves will be made using recycled concrete as the aggregate, and photovoltaic panels will adorn extensive portions of the rooftops.” Openfabric, a young landscape architecture firm with offices in Rotterdam and Milan, collaborated with MVRDV to conceive Shenzhen Terrace’s expansive landscaping scheme that includes publicly accessible green roofs (on roof sections that aren’t populated by photovoltaic panels), grassy manmade hills, reflecting pools, tree-shaded plazas, “activity zones” for various recreational pursuits, and oblong green patches tucked beneath the terraces which “host planting that imitates the sub-tropical natural forests of the region.” “Shenzhen has developed so quickly since its origins in the 1970s,” MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas said in a press statement. “In cities like this, it is essential to carefully consider how public spaces and natural landscape can be integrated into the densifying cityscape. The urban living room of the Shimao ShenKong International Centre will be a wonderful example of this, and could become a model for the creation of key public spaces in New Town developments throughout Shenzhen. It aims to make an area that you want be outside, hang out and meet, even when it is hot—a literally cool space for the university district, where all communication space can be outside. It will truly be a public building.” Shenzhen Terraces is in-development and no construction date has been given.
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Airbnb launches $1 million fund for wacky homes

Airbnb has launched a $1 million design fund that encourages current and future hosts on the online hospitality platform to get totally and unabashedly freaky—architecturally speaking. Dubbed the Unique Airbnb Fund, the competition-based program is trying to find and finance a total of 10 “unconventional and unusual” living spaces via an online competition judged by near-EGOT-winning actor Billy Porter, Fokke Moerel, partner at Rotterdam-based architecture firm MVRDV, and Kristie Wolfe, an Airbnb ‘Superhost’ and proprietor of a colossal, $199-a-night baked potato in—where else—Boise, Idaho. The Unique Airbnb Fund is a great initiative that makes hospitality exciting,” said Moerel in a news release. “It will empower people to create new spaces with daring, imaginative, and fantastic architecture.” Personal wunderkammers will be created for guests to appreciate and be inspired by. To be clear, the program isn’t specifically in search of habitable tuber crops, boots, beagles, baskets, or elephants, despite the hyper-memorable nature of mimetic architecture. Airbnb also mentions tree houses, windmills, geodesic domes, covered wagons, tiny houses, and yurts as being fair game given that searches for these types of spaces have grown 70 percent over the past year. Because sometimes, an IKEA-furnished mother-in-law apartment just won't cut it. Each of the 10 finalists selected will receive a $100,000 grant to help make their eccentric design concepts a reality with the idea that they’ll eventually become Airbnb listings. As the contest rules elaborate, winners don’t necessarily need to construct a freestanding, fully livable structure if their idea is chosen—winning concepts can be realized within existing homes or properties. Each submission will be judged equally on creativity, sustainability, social good, and, most importantly, feasibility. Entrants must also demonstrate that they currently have an Airbnb listing that could be renovated in the future, have a listing that’s in the midst of a renovation that’s singular nature would benefit from the grant, or have concrete plans to execute an off-kilter listing that could be fully realized with a helping hand from Airbnb. Grants will be divvied up and distributed to competition winners in equal parts during the initial thematic design phase, during the design development phase, and during the final construction documentation phase. The submission period closes on April 15, and winners will be selected by May 15. The listings are expected to be completed by the end of this year.
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MVRDV’s revamp of Amsterdam’s Tripolis Park includes a noise-buffering groundscraper

Dutch firm MVRDV has unveiled plans for Tripolis Park, a large-scale redevelopment project calling for the renovation and expansion of an architecturally significant Amsterdam office park that sits directly next to the A10 motorway (Rijksweg 10), the city’s bustling primary ring road. The most significant new addition to the existing Tripolis campus will be a rectangular, 11-story office block; a proper “groundscraper” per MVRDV, that will pull double-duty as a sound screen. Spanning nearly 400,000 square feet parallel to the A10, the photovoltaic array-topped structure will help muffle the constant roar of traffic produced by the highway. And, only fitting for a shiny, ultramodern office building situated nearly atop a traffic-clogged ring road, the star tenant will be Uber. Completed in 1994, Tripolis, which will be rebranded as Tripolis Park once the redevelopment of the site is complete, is one of the final works of influential Dutch architect and theorist, Aldo van Eyck. An outspoken proponent of Structuralism, van Eyck is best known for the Amsterdam Orphanage (1960) and for the hundreds of public playgrounds that he created across the city in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s. Located a stone’s throw from Van Eyck’s iconic, national monument-listed orphanage, Tripolis—itself a monument site since 2019—has historically suffered from low occupancy rates despite its eye-catching design, desirable location in Amsterdam’s fast-growing Zuidas business district, and attractive, courtyard-centered orientation. Composed of a trio of curvy mid-rises in which clusters of office suites fan out from central staircases, the existing buildings will be fully renovated by MVRDV to ensure that they “become commercially viable” according to a press release. Amsterdam-based real estate developer Flow is spearheading the project. The buildings’ signature design characteristics, namely their wood and granite facades and colorful window frames, will remain while MVRDV will add new elements such as rooftop gardens. The northernmost of the three existing buildings, Tripolis 100, will remain separate from the new groundscraper-slash-highway noise-blocker and eventually be converted into an affordable housing complex. Tripolis 200 and 300, the two existing buildings not slated for conversion into future housing, and those located closest to the A10, will be woven into the footprint of MVRDV’s new building. “This block is indented where it meets the existing buildings, adapting its grid structure to the complex geometry of Van Eyck’s offices,” explained MVRDV. “The relation between the austere, regimented south façade and the playfully indented north façade is revealed by a high-transparency eight-storey window that provides a glimpse of the existing Tripolis buildings where the indentation punches almost all the way through the new structure.” This melding of old and new at Tripolis Park is certainly dramatic, especially when considering the newer building’s hulking rigidity and the wavy, organic forms of Van Eyck’s older structures. “So I am a fan of Aldo van Eyck’s oeuvre and I think we should treat his design as respectfully as possible,” said MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas in a statement. “The new building guards and shelters the existing Tripolis complex as it were, thanks to the protective layer we create. We literally echo Tripolis, as if it was imprinting its neighbour. The space between will be given a public dimension and will be accessible to passers-by. As a visionary in his time, Aldo already saw office spaces as meeting places. I want to continue that idea by promoting interaction between the two buildings in various ways.” Uber, whose international headquarters are currently located elsewhere in Amsterdam, will also take up residence in the largest of the existing Van Eyck buildings in addition to occupying several lower floors of MVRDV's A10-abutting structure. As reported by Bloomberg, Uber will occupy two-thirds of the Tripolis campus in total starting in 2022. The San Francisco-based tech giant will have the option to rent even more space as its Amsterdam workforce continues to grow. Since 2017, the number of Amsterdam-based Uber employees has jumped from 400 to 1,700, prompting the company to seek out a more spacious home.
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BIG, MVRDV, Foster + Partners and more shortlisted to design artificial islands in Malaysia

Five heavy-hitting international teams have been shortlisted in a competition to design a master plan for a network of new islands off the coast of Penang, Malaysia. Foster + Partners, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), and MVRDV are among those left in the running out of 124 initial entries.  Organized by the Malaysian Institute of Architects Northern Chapter and the Penang Government, the project will result in the construction of a 4,500-acre site made from reclaimed earth—split into three islands—located just south of the Penang International Airport. Known as the Penang South Islands Project (PSI), the positioning of the future islands is key as the government aims to spur economic development in the area ahead of 2030, while also easing traffic congestion in Penang. The new islands will also serve as spaces for industrial manufacturing and technological growth, incorporating smart city and smart park features, according to The Star. Each of the following teams will be given an honorarium of $125,000 for their design work. Competition organizers are expected to select a final winner in early February. - BIG and Hijjas Architects + Planners with Rambøll and Ernst and Young; - Foster + Partners and GDP Architects with WSP (U.K.), Grant Associates, Urban DNA, and Pragma; - MVRDV and Alm Architects with Mobility in Chain, Deltares, Transsolar, and Rebel Group; - Tekuma Frenchman and Eowon Architects with Level Agency for Instructure, The Pearl River Hydraulic Research Institute, and Skymind AI Berhad - UNStudio and Architects 61 with Strelka KB,  schlaich bergermann partner, and more
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MVRDV's Depot houses a national archive behind mirror glass

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The Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (MBVB), located in Rotterdam's 10-acre Museumpark, is receiving a striking new addition designed by MVRDV. The Depot will house up to 125,000 of the museum's artworks not currently used for exhibitions, with over 70,000 of the pieces being made accessible to the public in a semi-curated format. In response to the site and the functional requirements of the project, Depot's spherical concrete shell has been clad with over 1,500 curved mirrored glass panels. For MVRDV, the location of the seven-story archive drove the decision to use mirror glass for the facade. "The project is situated in a piece of parkland between many cultural and medical institutions, so we did not want to turn our back to any of the neighbors, we wanted to visually enlarge the park," said MVRDV associate architect Arjen Ketting. "A piece of the park has been sacrificed to make space for this building, we visually reintroduce the setting in the facade." This effect is maximized by The Depot's circular massing which allows passing pedestrian to see around the corner of the structure towards the park's greater landscape.
  • Facade Manufacturer ShenZhen ShenNanYi Glass ODS Walasco Kingspan
  • Architect MVRDV
  • Facade Installer Sorba
  • Facade Consultant ABT
  • Location Rotterdam, Netherlands
  • Date of Completion 2021
  • System Custom system of brackets
  • Products ShenZhen ShenNanYi Glass Mirror Glass
Depot broke ground in 2017 and rises from an approximately 22,000-square-foot concrete foundation that supports a seven-story, poured concrete sphere that cantilevers over 30 feet in every direction. At its thickest, the sphere is one-and-a-half-feet in section—a built-in anti-burglary measure—and is punctured by just a handful of window openings to prevent sunlight from reaching the interior. Brackets were anchored into the structure during the concrete pour, and are further supplemented by a secondary network of small black frames; Rotterdam's municipal code requires secondary safety measures for facade cladding. Installation of the mirrored panels began in April 2019 and are arranged into 26 horizontal layers consisting of 64 identical panels, with each layer conforming to the curvature of the concrete shell. Prior to fabrication, the design team digitally unfolded the sphere's surface into a two-dimensional format inlaid with the cutting pattern, which was in turn exported to the manufacturer. Each panel consists of two layers of glass separated by multiple layers of reflective foils, which were curved together during the fabrication process. A layer of insulation produced by Kingspan backs the panels and facade installer Sorba incised the membrane using a 3D model of the supporting brackets to reduce thermal bridging. Although the bulk of the mirrored panels are subject to the same treatment, there are certain segments that correspond to nearby structures. For example, a significant block of the eastern elevation is composed of a less reflective coating to guard the privacy of patients found at the adjacent Erasmus Medical Center. Additionally, mirrored glass panels abutting windows are treated to transition to those transparent moments. The project is expected to be completed in Spring 2020 and will open in 2021.
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MVRDV to redevelop Seoul waterfront as sprawling urban park

Rotterdam-based MVRDV is no stranger to the Seoul area. Its 2018 addition to the Paradise City development, dubbed The Imprint, provided an abstract boost for the colossal entertainment complex near South Korea’s largest airport. This month it was announced the firm won a competition for the major redesign of the Tencheon valley and waterfront in Seoul with "The Weaves," set to begin construction in 2021. The Weaves site is located on a large stretch of waterfront land between Seoul’s former Olympic stadium in the Jamsil District and the central business district of Gangnam. In an area dominated by elevated roadways and parking lots, MVRDV plans to turn our attention to the natural landscape, focusing on three major aspects in its design: natural ecosystems, pedestrian access, and space for public programming. “Seoul is taking amazing steps to transform grey and obsolete infrastructure into lively green and social spaces," said MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas in a press release. "The Weaves is a design that introduces natural landscape combined with exceptional, varied access. It also responds to the local identity. Jamsil is known for its history of silk production and the design recalls the tangled silk threads of its past in a unique and playful way. It becomes an intertwining poem where movement becomes landscape poetry.” Major plans include returning the Tancheon river to a more naturalistic state, changing it from a straight canal to a whimsical, meandering stream with retention pools, islands, and aquatic plants to “blur the boundary between land and water.” Additionally, a series of winding paths will allow pedestrian access throughout the site from various points. These graded, intersecting paths will form plazas with cafes and amphitheaters to accommodate vast public programs. Construction of The Weaves is expected to take approximately three years, with projected completion in 2024.
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Gensler's Michael Volk and Olivier Sommerhalder discuss Facades+ LA and the trends reshaping their city

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From November 14 to 15, Facades+ LA will bring regional, national, and international leaders of the AEC industry to Southern California for the fifth year in a row. Hosted by The Architect's Newspaper and co-chaired by Gensler's local office, the conference is split between a full-day symposium and a second day of hands-on workshops. Conference keynotes include MVRDV principal Fokke Moerel and Rojkind Arquitectos principal Michel Rojkind. Other participants at the conference symposium and workshops will include Access Industries, Belzberg Architects, Christopher Hawthorne, CO Architects, FreelandBuck, Front, Gensler, Griffin Enright Architects, Grupo Anima Mexico, HGA, John Fidler Preservation Technologies, Morphosis, Neme Design Studio USA, Omgivning, PATTERNS, RDH, Rios Clementi Hale Studios, Walter P Moore, Trammell Crow, Sasaki, Shubin Donaldson Architects, Spectra Company, Studio NYL, WJE, and Zahner. In this interview with The Architect's Newspaper, Gensler principals and conference co-chairs Michael Volk and Olivier Sommerhalder discussed their firm's recent work and the architectural trends reshaping Los Angeles. AN: Gensler is the largest architectural and design practice in the world. How does this breadth of scale impact design at the regional level? Michael Volk & Olivier Sommerhalder: As an integral part of our firm’s philosophy, our 50 global offices practice as though we are one firm, and we have set up our infrastructure to fluidly support this behavior. We bring our global knowledge and a very deep bench to bear on every endeavor, from large scale international work to regional and local projects. Our dimension is such that it allows us to have in-house expertise in many relevant disciplines, including facade experts, and we bring this capability to the table wherever needed, at any time, making us nimble and innovative designers who add value to our client’s projects. What exciting projects is the Los Angeles office up to, and are you demonstrating any concepts tested at your research institute? In our Los Angeles office, as in all our offices, we are extending our thinking on building design to the scale of shaping the future of cities. At the forefront of this is a design that addresses energy, climate, and housing concerns. Like many things in design, we are finding, however, that low tech and simple solutions are most impactful and meaningful in addressing these issues. Projects such as our office building C3 in Culver City and upcoming projects now on the table for mixed-use and residential high rises downtown and in the Hollywood area are returning to simple passive solar and ventilation techniques, as well as significant integration of public and private green space, to reconsider the “First Principles” of their typologies. Living with nature and consuming less energy and water, while at the same time being in closer proximity to intellectual, economic and recreational capital, are among the positive aspects of urban life research shows to be most valuable and sustaining. Los Angeles is in a certain sense maturing as a city. What do you perceive to be the most interesting trends within the region today? Los Angeles is indeed maturing, and at the same time it’s dimension and urban condition make it an ideal city to be a testing ground for new urban innovations. Housing, density, and mobility are the leading topics, alongside climate change and energy considerations. These topics are often seen hand in hand leading to development in the city. For example, with the expansion of Metro-rail corridors, mixed-use and higher density projects are naturally emerging, bringing with them an integrated, urban lifestyle of live/work/play within a short radius that is somewhat new to Southern California. As another example, long-standing neighborhoods now connected by mixed-use corridors and transportation, are evolving into multi-faceted hubs, rather than the single-use bedroom communities they traditionally have been. This has had the consequence of shrinking the typical radius of commuting and the positive synergistic effect of an organic mix of programs supporting a vibrant daily life, increasing economic and cultural offerings within a denser fabric. Another surprising observation that may seem counter-intuitive considering Southern California’s envied climate: Over the past few years Los Angeles’ built environment seems to have rediscovered the connection to the outdoors. The mainstream has adopted outdoor patios for restaurants, the workplace has begun an extension of the workspace to the outdoors, and new apartment buildings and condominiums have generous balconies and roof terraces. This once-forgotten, but obvious, benefit is having a big impact on the design of buildings, envelopes, and landscapes. Which materials do you believe are changing facade practices in terms of design and performance? The most exciting material, surprisingly, is landscape. Projects like Second Home in Hollywood by Selgascano, and our projects for One Westside, Epic in Hollywood and several mixed-use and residential high-rises we are currently working on in the city are (re) introducing landscape as a major building and space-defining element. The notion of biophilia as a driving conceptual element has emerged internationally in the last years in places like Europe, South East Asia and significantly in Singapore. Now, in Los Angeles, we are beginning to see this design thinking taking place. Landscape as a design element is now becoming foreground - as it can and should in our climate, not just background as it often has been. More conventionally, timber and wood are also emerging on the horizon, not only as a primary structure but also as an envelope. Our project for the Headquarters of the company Alexandria in Pasadena includes a unitized curtainwall made of white oak with a second skin of wooden sunscreens. Further information regarding Facades+ Los Angeles can be found here.
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MVRDV reveals a geologically-inspired tower for the San Francisco waterfront

Dutch architecture firm MVRDV has released the first look at the design for its contribution to the new master-planned Mission Rock neighborhood in San Francisco. Called The Canyon, the craggy tower was created in collaboration with the local Perry Architects and inspired by the natural rock formations found throughout California. The 23-story, 380,000-square-foot tower references both San Francisco’s urban grid and its hilly natural landscape, bringing down craggy forms to the flat waterfront, and will feature a variety of offices, residences, and an abundance of open terraces. The Canyon is part of a four-building development being jointly planned by MVRDV along with Studio Gang, WORKac, and Henning Larsen. Each firm was brought on early in the so far 12-year planning and design process to collaboratively devise an overall scheme for the 28-acre site (previously being used for parking), as well as individual buildings that are intended to fit together yet remain each studio's own. SCAPE is also creating a five-acre park for Mission Rock. The neighborhood is being developed by Tishman Speyer in collaboration with the San Francisco Giants, whose ballpark will be set in dialogue with the new towers akin to the approach taken by the Rams and the Colorado Rockies elsewhere. The Canyon is designed to be an entry point to Mission Rock and the “fracture” in its design makes it so that the northeast block acts as a separate building with its own entrance while remaining connected to the other amenities in the tower. The intent, according to MVRDV co-founder Nathalie de Vries was to create a “dynamic design with a great vibe.” Mission Rock is scheduled to break ground in 2020. MVRDV principal Fokke Moerel will be leading the morning keynote, "The Skin is the Message," at Facades+ LA on November 14.
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Inside MVRDV’s radically accessible Rotterdam museum and storage hub

In the heart of Rotterdam’s central museum campus, a mirrored vessel designed by the hometown MVRDV is currently under construction to house the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s collection of approximately 151,000 artworks. Coined the “Depot,” the building will feature over 16,000 square feet of space and serve as the world’s first art storage facility that also offers access to the museum’s entire collection without the mediation of a curator. Located on the northern edge of Rotterdam’s Museumpark (realized by OMA with Yves Brunier in 1994), the building aims to be less visible from the exterior and instead offer more public access to the interior. With the intent of increasing Museumpark’s attractiveness as an international art complex, the Depot is roughly 130 feet tall and will be completely clad in mirrored panels once complete. A public route zigzags through the building, where 99 percent of the collection will be on display, among seven different climatic zones that will facilitate ideal conditions for art storage, offices, and the public. The rooftop terrace will offer a view over the city and harbor 78 planted trees, a sculpture garden, exhibition space, and a restaurant. The museum will also offer commercial storage spaces rented to private collectors, corporate collections, and other museums. If the renters so choose, these spaces may also be publicly accessible. The Depot represents a new typology that museums can learn from. The existing Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen building has been in desperate need for renovations, related mostly to its outdated electronic and climate-control systems and asbestos remediation. The motivation for the project was to replace the museum’s current storage facilities, which are too small, unsafe, and obsolete. However, even after the renovation of the museum buildings, an external storage facility was still necessary. The total investment cost of the project is approximately $96.5 million and was funded through a public-private initiative between the City of Rotterdam (which owns the majority of the collection), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, and the De Verre Bergen Foundation. The museum is continuing to fundraise among sponsors and donors; one initiative includes a scheme for "adopting" one of the mirrored panels. The building should be completed at the beginning of 2020 with an official opening in 2021. Once finished, the build must sit empty in the intervening year to allow for drying time, calibration of the climate control systems, and artwork installation.
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MVRDV's The Imprint mirrors and distorts its surrounding with glass fiber–reinforced concrete

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In Paradise City, a new entertainment and hospitality complex in Seoul, South Korea, MVRDV was faced with a unique challenge: design two contextual, expressive buildings without any windows—one an indoor theme park and the other a nightclub. The two new structures, known collectively as The Imprint, share an architectural language and echo the design of the six other buildings in Paradise City. Despite its theme park name, “Paradise City is not a collection of individual objects like Las Vegas,” noted MVRDV principal and cofounder Winy Maas, “but a real city.”
  • Facade Manufacturer Techwall
  • Architect MVRDV
  • Co-Architect GANSAM Architects & Partners
  • Facade Consultant VS-A Group Ltd
  • Panelization Consultant WITHWORKS
  • Location Incheon, South Korea
  • Date of Completion 2018
  • System Panelized glass reinforced concrete
To make these new buildings fit in with their environment, MVRDV’s solution was to fit the environment over the new buildings. That is to say, the architects virtually projected the facades of the nearby buildings, stretching them across the plazas and over the massing of the new structures—one a simple box, the other a curving box that gives definition to a public space. The facade compositions were “imprinted” in relief onto glass fiber-reinforced concrete panels. The panels, 3,869 of which are unique, were individually fabricated employing the same 3D modeling files used to design the project. Most of the panels were painted white to create high contrast shadows that emphasize the design of the contextual echoes, but a few sections of the nightclub and surrounding plaza are painted gold. These gilded highlights are augmented with exterior lighting and, when seen from the planes landing at the nearby Incheon Airport, look like spotlights shining onto the structure. It’s an appropriate gesture for a project with facades that appear to be pulled upward, offering a peek under the curtain where mirrored surfaces and dynamic lighting suggest the glamorous spaces and experiences that lie behind. MVRDV’s client called the completed Imprint a “work of art,” and indeed, the buildings do evoke dueling works by the sculptor Rachel Whiteread, who is known for her casts of architectural objects and spaces. But can a nightclub in an entertainment complex really be a work of art? Why not? “What, then, is the difference between architecture and art?” asked Maas. “The project plays with that, and I think that abstraction is part of it, but it has to surprise, seduce, and it has to calm down... Giorgio de Chirico would have liked to paint it, I think.”  
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Winy Maas will be the new editor in chief of Domus (but not for long)

Winy Maas, cofounder of MVRDV, is about to take on a new role that he, even with his wildly accomplished career, has never previously taken on. He will be the new editor in chief of Domus, the storied Italian architecture magazine. But, alas, not all things can last forever. He will only direct the publication for 10 issues to be released in 2019. His tenure will be a part of the magazine's 10x10x10 strategy, which aims to put 10 prominent designers behind the editorial helm over the next 10 years, each one overseeing 10 issues each. Maas will be the second participant, the first having been Italian architect and designer Michele De Lucchi, who was in charge for 2018. The magazine, however, is no stranger to having a design professional at the helm. Gio Ponti founded the media outlet in 1928, an event which will be commemorated by the completion of the 10x10x10 project in 2028. In a statement, Maas laid out his vision for his reign:
We need an agenda for change. Our planet is subject to dramatic climate changes that require all of us—politicians, urban planners, and citizens—to accelerate our action to save it. But we are still too slow. Domus will act as such an agenda.
The issues will focus on "the city of the future," and will collectively comprise a unified product once complete. Maas put forward a series of questions that will shape his editorial position:
Can our cities surprise us? Can they be more responsible? More open? More curious? Brave and experimental? Truly green? Bio-diversified? Human, social, intimate, accessible, free, heterogeneous? Different? Can they be pleasant, beautiful, exciting?
He also called for things to be better:
Better materials, better bathrooms, better facades, better houses, better cities, and a better world, which ranges from the mass production of cars to bricks, from roads to infrastructure, including nanomaterials, and large-scale planning.
Readers will be able to get their hands on this better magazine in January when the first issue is scheduled to come out.
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MVRDV's first U.S. project breaks multicolored ground at the top of Manhattan

A flash of rainbow is set to touch down in Manhattan’s Washington Heights, as MVRDV’s first project in the United States broke ground earlier today and released a swath of new renderings. The technicolor 22-story Radio Tower & Hotel will be sure to stand out for better or for worse once it’s finished, as it’s springing up in a neighborhood mainly known for blocks of low-slung, turn-of-the-century brick Renaissance Revival–style buildings. Rotterdam-based MVRDV is no stranger to stacked, staggered, and carved forms and bright splashes of color, and from the renderings, it appears that Radio Tower will keep true to that tradition. The mixed-use tower, described by MVRDV as a “vertical village,” was designed to “pull” office, residential, and hotel space off of the ground level and onto a single building. Each of the staggered volumes, about the size of a typical building in the neighborhood, has been assigned a different color and corresponding unique use. For instance, the horizontal blue box at the tower’s center will be reserved for event space. The 234,000-square-foot building is set to rise at the base of the Washington Bridge on 181st Street and Amsterdam Avenue, right where the street grid drops off into Harlem River Park. Because the site is at the edge of the Harlem River and none of the adjacent buildings come close to reaching the same height, Radio Tower should contribute significantly to Washington Heights’ skyline. MVRDV has used colored ceramic brick for the building’s facade, and the firm states that the color of each box is a reference to a typical fixture in the predominantly-Hispanic neighborhood—a design diagram cites brick, murals, supermarket and bodega canopies, and local restaurants as informing their palette. The staggered massing will also preserve views for residents and guests, as well as carve out rooftop terraces atop each of the volumes. A coffee shop and community garden in the building’s communal internal courtyard will be open to the public, as MVRDV has wanted to create both a “welcoming beacon for people entering Manhattan” as well as a community amenity. Still, it remains to be seen how the Washington Heights community will react to the announcement. A proposed rezoning of Inwood a bit further north drew furious protests from uptown residents, as has the Columbia University Medical Center’s previous expansion plans. No information on the affordability of the complex's residential portion has been revealed as of yet.