Six Cities by MVRDV

Six Cities by MVRDV

Retrospective presentation of the Rotterdam based architects’ firm MVRDV

May 9 until June 19, 1999

Opening Friday May 9, 20.00h

Zes Steden/Six Cities was the first Dutch retrospective presentation of the Rotterdam based architects’ firm MVRDV. MVRDV partners are Winy Maas (1959), Jacob van Rijs (1964) and Nathalie de Vries (1965). The multimedia presentation was a clear visualisation of the firm’s multifarious research and working methods. The show consisted of six segments, in six cities.

1. MetaCITY/Datatown
Datatown is an audiovisual presentation of an imaginary city completely based on statistical data. With a surface area of 400 by 400 kilometres, Datatown measures four times the size of the Netherlands with a population density four times as large, eventually accomodating about 250 million people. Datatown is completely self-supporting and has no surrounding countries, which raises important issues about the consequences of a self-supporting city not having any neighbouring cities or countries. Datatown calculates and constructs the needs of this city, and presents them to the visitor in a panoramic view, with moving images. Datatown was earlier on display in Stroom hc/bk in The Hague, but has by now been expanded with two new sectors: ‘housing’ and ‘water’.


2. KM3 / 3d CITY

The maquettes and the film presented as KM3 /3d CITY are the outcome of the investigations MVRDV has made into underground construction; case studies were the inner cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam and the area around the A20 near Amsterdam. Starting point for the investigations was the proposition that in the Dutch context, underground construction was often seen as the solution to the realisation of the infrastructure in the event of heavy traffic or surface protection. MVRDV poses the question whether this could also be implemented to facilitate the expansion of the urban areas. In the vision of KM3 / 3d City, spatial qualities are no longer translated into morphology or geometry, but in wealth, diversity, availability and accessibility, turning the zero level into an insignificant issue, as it occurs simultaneously at more than one level.


3. LiteCITY
The concepts MVRDV has developed for LiteCITY will be presented by means of a film. Starting point here is the realisation of housing estates that are more experimental by nature in comparison to those proposed in the Vinex reports. LiteCITY can be realised by shortening the depreciation period of durable goods such as dwellings, asphalted roads and embedded infrastructure including cables and pipelines. This, in its turn, can be realised by producing these goods at a lower price, which means in a different way, or by not producing them at all. Funds could then be earmarked for other purposes such as larger gardens around the houses.


4. BrabantCITY
At the behest of the province of Noord-Brabant, MVRDV carried out a study as part of the programme ‘Ontwerpen aan Brabant 2050’ (Designing Brabant 2050). The outcome of this study was presented by means of a large print. Starting point for this assignment was the fact that within a period of fifty years, the built environment would be twice as large. Departing from the idea that the Netherlands are slowly but steadily turning into a megacity,
MVRDV argues for more diversity and a radically implemented separation of functions in extensive areas. The northern part of the Netherlands should become uninhabited, the Veluwe a region similar to the Ardennes and Brabant the new housing estate of the Netherlands. The future BrabantCITY will have a National Park (created by expanding existing scenic areas) which could be funded with the proceeds of the approximately 350.000 houses that will be built in the future. BrabantCITY has no centre, but a number of small-scale units. The existing facilities have been analysed and will be distributed among the new villages, which will be of the same size as the current municipalities of Brabant. Every unit has a different identity: one unit for instance, will commit itself to education, in another all the hotels in Brabant will be centred. Eindhoven is situated in the park and will partly be preserved and partly‘dismantled’.


5. InfraCITY
The objective of InfraCITY is to produce designs focussing on infrastructure function as a driving force for urban planning. In this context, the industrial site Flight Forum, the Tangentenstudies and the plans for Almere, Rotterdam and Leidscheveen 1 en 2 are put forward. The architecture of Flight Forum is based on the intensification of new industrial sites, in which companies built in adjoining or stacked structures leave enough room for characteristic, parklike surroundings.


6. InteriorCITY
InteriorCITY consists of a comprehensive presentation of maquettes by MVRDV, investigating and visualising the relationship between object and city. The models include the St. Joseph Hospital and the design for the Dutch Pavilion for the World Expo 2000 in Hannover.

Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries

For more information see : MVRDV