location: Rotterdam, Holland
MVRDV has moved into the MVRDV House, their new offices in central Rotterdam, marking a new chapter for the expanding architectural practice. The new location, in the iconic post-war monument Het Industriegebouw, is situated in the heart of Rotterdam’s city centre and is moments away from the firm’s Markthal. The new office houses MVRDV’s now 140 Rotterdam-based staff members and offer new facilities which represent their DNA and social focus.
“The expanding MVRDV family needed a new house; so this is exactly what we tried to capture. Everything that the home requires, a living room, a dining room, a sofa for the whole house to sit together,” explains MVRDV co-founder Jacob van Rijs. “This was also a chance to capture how we work and function as an office, then tailor-make new spaces that would boost our working methods and output; efficient spaces that enhance the collaborative ways in which we work.”
The large Family Room becomes the centrepiece for social interaction with three oversized elements of the home, the couch, dinner table and vegetation chandelier – a large tribune with a drop-down projection screen for lectures, office presentations or football; the long lunch table, at which the whole office gathers together daily; and a huge, split, flowerpot, which has in the middle MVRDV’s ’welcome team’. Past this, The Atelier for the project teams takes up the main bulk of the central space and is light and quiet. A glazed wall, covered in doodles and working diagrams, separates the atelier from the living room stretching right across the centre three - out of five – main arches. Opposite this, like a section through a dolls-house, are the bold, multi-coloured meeting rooms. Each has its own theme and specific furniture for different ways of meeting; The Drawing Room with whiteboard magnet walls for workshops, The Presentation Room in dark blue for larger formal meetings, The Lounge with low chairs for conversations in private, the brown and intimate Library Room and The Game Room for playing or informal meetings at the table-tennis table. And of course, several other special monochrome rooms.
The building housing MVRDV’s new offices, Het Industriegebouw, is in itself a large community of creative, technical and entrepreneurial industries; everything ranging from small tech start-ups to larger design firms. Pop-up cafés and restaurants create an occasion for users of the building to congregate; something which will be further enhanced once MVRDV designs the communal courtyard for the building.
“For us, it also makes a lot of sense to be part of Het Industriegebouw as a building and a community,” tells Jacob van Rijs. “Now we share a work space that could allow for future, flexible growth and collaboration within the building, just as was the design intent of the original architect.”