Iconographic Architecture: The Unique Style of MVRDV

MVRDV has a vision for the future – not just for architecture, but for urban life. “The desire, if not the obsession, if not the necessity, is to make cities more suburbanized,” principal architect Winy Maas told Fast Company. And the Dutch design firm is doing just that with dozens of iconic structures and even entire cities around the world.

WoZoCo, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Believing urbanization to be the key to adapting to growing challenges like overpopulation and scant resources, MVRDV designs versatile mixed-use facilities that incorporate green technologies and clever infrastructure for waste management, renewable energy, food production and other means of supporting large urban populations as locally as possible.

Le Monolithe, Lyon, France

The recently completed ‘Le Monolithe‘ in Lyon, France is a prime example, incorporating housing, offices and retail space and providing 80% of the building’s power with renewable energy sources.

DnB NOR Headquarters, Oslo, Norway

But MVRDV’s architectural projects, past and present, aren’t just about practicality. Despite having a team of 50 architects, MVRDV has cultivated a distinctive aesthetic that has carried over from the firm’s earlier work, like the WoZoCo building in Amsterdam, to more recent projects such as the DnB NOR Headquarters in Oslo, a green bank building with a stone face that will eventually be covered in natural vegetation.

Gemini Residence, Copenhagen, Denmark

Blocky geometric shapes and bright colors on the exterior often give way to surprisingly complex interior spaces, as in the Gemini Residence in Amsterdam, an apartment building on Copenhagen’s Waterfront made from two former seed silos.

Gwaynggyo Power Center, Seoul, South Korea

MVRDV’s stunning eco-friendly concepts represent some of the most visionary ideas in the field of sustainable architecture. The firm’s winning design for the Gwanggyo Power Center in Seoul, South Korea blends in with the surrounding hillside in sculptural rounded towers providing plenty of greenery and outdoor space in addition to living space, offices, retail space, museums and other public functions.

Galije Resort, Montenegro

The firm’s design for the Galije Resort in Montenegro is even more obviously bio-inspired, taking on the shape of a grassy mountain to provide a nature-themed getaway on a pristine stretch of coastline.

MVRDV currently has over a dozen projects under construction around the globe from their native Amsterdam to China and has won multiple international awards and competitions. See more of the firm’s projects at MVRDV.nl. Projects shown in the top picture, clockwise from the top: Balancing Barn, Didden Village, Villa VRPO and Sky Village.