MVRDV to upgrade historic French city with modern, ecological design

June 15, 2017 by  
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France’s historic Bordeaux World Heritage Site is getting a modern ecological refresh thanks to prolific Rotterdam-based firm MVRDV . Working together with local architecture studio Flint , the architects unveiled Ilot Queyries, a pilot project for a new neighborhood that combines the European city’s historic qualities with eco-friendly and contemporary features. The dense and mixed-use masterplan not only calls for modern architecture and green space, but will also include solar panels, an integrated water system, and optimization of natural lighting in all buildings. Located east of the River Garonne, the 2.5-hectare Ilot Queyries neighborhood occupies a coveted riverside site with views towards the water and the historic city. The mixed-use masterplan comprises over 300 apartments, commercial units, a glass-fronted rooftop restaurant, and a large public park located at the heart of the development with a garden of alder, birch, and high grasses. To optimize views, natural ventilation , and access to daylight , the architects designed the building facades with 45-degree angles. These angular buildings give the development a modern sculptural aesthetic. A large landmark building at the riverfront will feature a unique angled facade covered with varying gold shades of ceramic tiles for a beautifully textured effect. Related: MVRDV transforms an abandoned highway into a “plant village” in the sky “For the Bastide Niel master plan we make an update of the European city: based on the values of the historic city that is intimate, dense and mixed, whilst at the same time proposing new objectives like sunlight for all, even on the ground floor, new energy supplies with solar panels , integrated water system and more green spaces,” said MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas. “The concept of the cuts of the volumes is introduced here at Ilot Queyries which can be interpreted as a pilot project of the master plan Bastide Niel. Cuts in the volume allow the new qualities and allow adapting to the neighbours and mimic the height of nearby buildings. The result is ‘a true Grande Dame’ which stretches from very low pavilion-like housing towards the neighbourhoods at the back and more ambitious and monumental where the scale permits to do so, for example at the Garonne riverside facing the historic left bank.” Ilot Queyries is located next to and is a part of the larger ZAC Bastide-Niel masterplan, also designed by MVRDV, that aims to create an inviting, attractive, and greener extension to Bourdeaux’s city center. Ilot Queyries will be completed in mid-2019. + MVRDV Images via MVRDV

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Former concrete factory begins anew as an alternative high school with no curriculum

March 30, 2017 by  
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A former concrete factory west of Copenhagen has taken its first steps towards transformation into an experimental Danish folk high school. Designed by MVRDV and Cobe , the Roskilde Festival Folk High School that’s broken ground will include a 3,000-square-meter learning center for art, music, leadership, and activism, as well as 2,600 square meters of student housing. The former industrial appearance of the factory will be largely preserved wherever possible. Inspired by the ideals of the Roskilde festival and by Danish author and teacher N.F.S.Grundtvig’s beliefs on education, the Roskilde Festival Folk High School will differ in many ways from the typical high school and will be the first newly-established folk high school of its kind in Denmark in 45 years. The alternative school has neither curriculum nor exams, and both students and teachers will live on campus during the school year. Education will usually be focused on creative and humanistic topics, as well as on common life at school. Designed to accommodate around 150 students, the Roskilde Festival Folk High School will be organized into three main learning zones: the Mind, which caters to writing, debate, and leadership training; the Body, for dance and music education; and the Hand, with facilities and classrooms for the visual arts, architecture, and design. These zones will be housed within boxes inserted into the renovated factory. One of the boxes will include a 150-person auditorium. Students will be encouraged to decorate the industrial interiors with their art. Related: MVRDV and COBE to Transform Danish Concrete Factory Into Rock and Roll Museum The folk high school is part of the 11,000-square-meter ROCKmagneten masterplan that will transform the on-site cement factories into a district for “rock music, creativity and youth culture.” The Roskilde Festival Folk High School is slated for completion in fall 2018. + MVRDV + COBE Images via MVRDV

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Former concrete factory begins anew as an alternative high school with no curriculum

Circular school hides a kaleidoscope of color and geometry

March 30, 2017 by  
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Don’t be fooled by this Australian school’s staid appearance. A walk around to its main entrance reveals a surprising and dynamic kaleidoscope of color and geometry hidden at its heart. Designed by Australian architecture firm McBride Charles Ryan , the Ivanhoe Grammar Senior Years & Science Center in Victoria is a multifunctional learning space that visually blends the school’s commitment to a well-rounded education and classical approach to learning with an embrace of the imagination and arts. McBride Charles Ryan made a name for themselves with their penchant for angular geometry and playful design, and the Ivanhoe Grammar Senior Years & Science Center is no exception. The project was recently announced winner of the WAN Color in Architecture Award 2016 and was chosen for its use of color as a key element throughout the design. The building’s dark facade and circular shape is dramatically contrasted with the angular geometry and colorful surfaces in the central courtyard. “The contrast so evident in this building’s language encapsulates the contemporary methodologies for a well-rounded education,” write the architects. “The circular form is classical, representing order, and the certainty of knowledge – the building’s inner world, with its expressive and complex mosaic of spaces, represents the uncertainty and complexity of modern life and scientific understanding, and the necessity of the qualities of wonder and imagination to see us through.” Related: Simple Edwardian House Bursts Into a Daylit Cloud in Australia The building facade is made up of vertical fins that provide solar shading and is heavily insulated and built of robust materials that need little maintenance. The landscaped inner courtyard and the building’s large openings in the roof and at the main entrance help blur the lines between indoor and outdoor space and bring in ample natural light. The classrooms and learning spaces are strategically placed to maximize access to daylight and natural ventilation while minimizing solar glare. + McBride Charles Ryan Images by John Gollings

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Circular school hides a kaleidoscope of color and geometry

Solar-powered Rotterdam home wraps around an olive tree

March 15, 2017 by  
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Don’t be fooled by this Rotterdam home’s deceptively plain street-facing facade—the backside of the property reveals a strikingly sculptural home with a glazed facade that wraps around an olive tree. MVRDV designed the contemporary home, called Casa Kwantes, for a client who valued privacy and seclusion but also wanted maximum access to daylight and open living spaces. To minimize its environmental footprint, the home includes several energy-efficient systems and aims for self-sufficiency. Tucked away on the corner plot of an old hospital, the 480-square-meter Casa Kwantes is entered through an indent on its windowless, mysterious street-facing facade built with white Celosia brickwork. Upon entering the curvaceous living spaces, visitors are bathed in natural light and views of the outdoors. The full-height south-facing windows wrap around the courtyard and the focal point of the house: the olive tree . The library and the open-plan living room, dining room, and kitchen are located on the first floor, while the sleeping areas are placed on the second level. Curtains provide privacy and shade. The upper floor cantilevers slightly to provide solar shading to the living spaces. Extra storage is tucked away in a small basement and an outdoor suntrap patio at the bottom of the garden offers extra paved barbecue space. “When balancing municipality requirements for a retro style architecture, the home became a contemporary take on 1930s modernism with its long, cream, shallow brickwork, full-height glazing, and the contrasting integration of the flat and fluid, open and enclosed, flexible and defined,” wrote the architects. “As the newly built homes in the vicinity are more vernacular in their modernist approach, this variation on a more avant-garde architecture has the been subject of discussions with the municipality.” Related: MVRDV unveils futuristic Y-shaped house with a rooftop pool in Tainan In addition to ample access to natural light, Casa Kwantes minimizes its energy footprint with a ground-source heat pump , heat exchange system, and rooftop solar system. The solar panels generate enough energy for the home to run entirely on renewable energy. MVRDV expects to home to be entirely self-sufficient on energy and will monitor the home for testing over the next year. + MVRDV Images © Ossip van Duivenbode

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MVRDV unveils futuristic Y-shaped house with a rooftop pool in Tainan

December 2, 2016 by  
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Dutch firm MVRDV is showing off their playful side in Tainan once again with their design of the Y House, a luxury villa in the shape of the letter ‘Y.’ Designed in collaboration with local firms KAI Architects and Envision Engineering Consultants, the futuristic landmark building will be punctuated with circular openings and topped with a rooftop pool. Created as a weekend retreat for city workers, the concrete home is positioned for optimal views over the landscape and sea and follows Feng Shui principles. Located in northeast Tainan between the sea and the city, the 330-square-meter Y House stands out from its nondescript neighbors with its unusual shape. MVRDV chose the shape to maximize landscape views in the communal areas. The living room, solarium, changing room, and dining room are located in the upper half of the Y shape that’s joined together by the private rooftop swimming pool . Located below are the two children’s rooms, master bedroom, and guest bedroom, all of which are stacked above a ground-level tearoom for entertaining guests. Residents can move through the home via stairs or elevator. Related: MVRDV to transform a shopping mall into a lush lagoon and beach in Taiwan Circular openings of various sizes punctuate the concrete shell to bring in natural light and ventilation, and to frame views. Circular cutouts at the bottom of the rooftop pool that double as skylights let in dappled light to the living room. The circular motif is repeated in the stepping-stones that traverse the reflecting pool in the front yard to the gardens. Feng Shui principles guided the arrangement of the circular stepping-stones. + MVRDV Images via MVRDV

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MVRDV unveils futuristic Y-shaped house with a rooftop pool in Tainan

Giant gold spot draped over this building will catch the eye of anyone flying into Seoul

July 20, 2016 by  
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Created in partnership with Gansam Architects , Paradise City will comprise two buildings: the 3,600-square-meter Sandbox retail complex and the 6,200-square-meter Nightclub. The project will serve as the centerpiece of a new tourist hub for the Korean capital. Rather than insert two conventionally styled buildings, the architects designed two concrete monolithic forms that are distorted and manipulated to respond to the surrounding environment and take on a more fluid, rippled form. Related: South Korea Unveils Plans for Sustainable Mini-City in World’s Best Airport “The project takes two simple volumes, which create a new urban space. These masses then take an imprint of the facades around the site, stretching over the two buildings. Thus adapting themselves to the given environment, accepting these conditions as a sine qua non,” says MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas . “The buildings are opened by lifting them like a curtain, unravelling their interior. Then, to top it off is the golden spot, marking the entrance like a sunbeam, making its presence known even from the air and the landing planes at Incheon airport.” The project is expected to be completed in time for the 2018 winter Olympic games and will have a direct mono-rail connection to Incheon airport. + MVRDV Images via MVRDV

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Giant gold spot draped over this building will catch the eye of anyone flying into Seoul

A giant eye looks out from MVRDVs futuristic library in Tianjin

June 24, 2016 by  
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Created as part of the new Binhai Cultural Center, the 34,200-square-meter Tianjin Library was created in collaboration with Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute (TUPDI) to serve as an education center and connector from the park to the burgeoning cultural district. The building is glazed to promote transparency and is punctured by an oval opening that provides clear views both into the library atrium and of the surrounding park landscape. The mirrored and spherical auditorium set at the center of the oval gives the space an eye-like and surreal effect. Related: MVRDV’s massive staircase made of scaffolding opens in Rotterdam “The Eye is the centre of the library. It ‘hollows out’ the building and creates, out of bookshelves, an environment to sit, to read, to hang out, to climb and to access, to create an organic social space,” said MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas. “In its heart is the auditorium which mirrors the environment, giving a 360 degree panorama of the space inside; a truly reflective and pensive environment.” Curvaceous and terraced bookshelves located around the auditorium echo the spherical shape and lead up into an organic ceiling pattern. The contour-like lines are extended to the facade, where they’re used as sun-shading louvres . The Tianjin Binhai library is estimated to open to the public by mid 2017. + MVRDV Images via MVRDV

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A giant eye looks out from MVRDVs futuristic library in Tianjin

UK’s Brexit vote could reverse environmental protections and contribute to climate change

June 24, 2016 by  
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By the slimmest of margins, the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union. The controversial move—widely called ‘Brexit,’ short for British exit—kicked off a series of troubling events. Stock markets crashed and Prime Minister David Cameron announced he will resign before October. The ramifications of the UK’s departure from the EU will be widespread , including potentially devastating setbacks for environmental initiatives. Embed from Getty Images Leading up to the in-out referendum, the UK’s efforts to advance environmental protections had slowed. Now, concerns are increasing over the country’s future commitments to cutting pollution and combatting climate change . Also unknown is the future leadership’s stance on protective measures for wildlife, support for agriculture, and investments in renewable energy . Recently, the UK has been making significant progress in green energy, particularly in the solar power industry which produced 50 percent more energy last month than the country’s coal power plants. Related: UK solar power outshined coal power plants for the entire month of May For months, Cameron had urged against leaving the EU, and predictions had called Brexit an unlikely outcome. Yet, supporters of the political breakup won 52 percent to 48 percent, despite London, Scotland and Northern Ireland voting to ‘Remain’ in the EU. In the early stages of the financial fallout after the votes were tallied, analysts warn that investments in green energy will decline, slowing what was previously a fast-growing sector of the UK economy. Additionally, Ukip leader Nigel Farage—perhaps the most vocal politician forcing the referendum—is an unapologetic climate denier and has said on numerous occasions that his agenda includes “scrapping” limitations on pollution from power stations. Conservative measures in that vein would only work to undo the hard work Britain has done in recent years to clean up the environment, limit carbon emissions, and reduce its contribution to climate change. Via The Guardian Lead image via Shutterstock

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UK’s Brexit vote could reverse environmental protections and contribute to climate change

MVRDV transforms a Hong Kong factory into a glass office with ultimate transparency

June 6, 2016 by  
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Commissioned by project developer GAW Capital , the office transformation also includes retail and restaurants on the lower levels. The original factory was enclosed in concrete and comprised dark and labyrinth-like passageways. The architects gutted the structure to remove all unnecessary trimmings until only the building skeleton was left. They preserved the “purity” of the stripped-down building by adding only white paint, glass, and stainless steel infill. The dedication to transparency was extended to the furnishings, which are also all made from glass to create an entirely glass office. Even the elevators are made of glass sheathed in glass shafts. Related: Glass bricks “stronger than concrete” clad Amsterdam’s Crystal Houses “We are moving into a transparent society, businesses are becoming more open with the public, and people care more about what goes on behind closed doors. In that way, a clear workspace leaves nothing questionable, nothing hidden; it generates trust,” said MVRDV co-founder Winy Maas. “But also it is an opportunity for the building to become a reminder of the industrial history of the neighbourhood, monumentalised in a casing of glass.” Despite the generous amounts of glazing, the building has a 17% lower annual energy consumption rate and a 15% lower peak electricity demand as compared to the average Hong Kong office. + MVRDV Images via MVRDV , © Ossip van Duivenbode

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MVRDV’s gigantic staircase of scaffolding celebrates the rebuilding of Rotterdam

April 12, 2016 by  
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This year marks the 75th year since Rotterdam began its city reconstruction following the devastating World War II bombardment that killed 850 people and left 80,000 people homeless. In honor of Rotterdam’s resilience and growth since that time, MVRDV has unveiled plans to install a gigantic staircase out of scaffolding in front of Rotterdam Central Station. Set to open to the public this summer, the 180-step temporary installation, titled the Stairs, will offer sweeping views overlooking the entire city. Read the rest of MVRDV’s gigantic staircase of scaffolding celebrates the rebuilding of Rotterdam

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