To coincide with the official opening of the firm’s latest creation next door this weekend, the three-decade output of MVRDV will be examined in a new exhibition hosted by Rotterdam’s Het Nieuwe Instituut.
Titled MVRDVHNI: The Living Archive, the multi-layer exhibition will dive into the roots of the philosophy that has been behind all of the firm’s major projects over the years, including the recently completed Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen and Taoyuan Museum of Art.
Divided into three themes, the projects in the exhibition are also arranged along a Darwinist chronology that reveals a comprehensive archive of materials that had been either digitally preserved previously, or otherwise unveiled with the help of search engine software developed in-house by MVRDV’s Next studio.
The “Human” projects encompass the totality of the firm's pronounced socially-conscience approach. “Green” projects showcase MVRDV’s long-held penchant for sustainability, and the “Dream” category highlights the firm’s unique ability to engage and inspire across a range of different topographic categories. A final section called “Collection Studies” ties each theme together through an examination of things as diverse as the monetary value of data collected by the firm, to its constant incorporation of birch trees, and the evolution of depictions of the human form in renderings. Materials in the exhibition include not only drawings and sketch work but also proposals, photographs, marketing materials, and correspondences with engineers that provide insights into the minutiae each project entails.
“When asked about the meaning of the first 400 projects for this monographic exhibition featuring the MVRDV archives, we were reluctant to declare these projects historic,” the firm's Jan Knikker said in a statement. “This is because in our daily practice, they are still very much alive. From the very first projects to projects that envision a future in the year 2300 and beyond, there are ideas, philosophies, typologies, and elements that continuously reappear. It therefore became important for the exhibition to elaborate on the present and future of these first projects, and not to view them as artifacts but living ideas.”
Occupying the HNI’s top-floor gallery, MVRDVHNI: The Living Archive is open to the public now and will remain on view until September 4th, 2022. A panel discussion with the firm’s founders will be streamed on November 15th. More information about the event can be found here.
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