05 February 2006

Visiting VPRO

If there was one project that I knew that I wanted to see in the Netherlands that I had not already seen in the summer of 2003 – this was it.

The head quarters of the Dutch Media Company – VPRO. Designed by Dutch ‘STARCHITECTS’ – MVRDV. I have to say that it’s impossible to describe this building. It has too many layers, spaces and experiences to be captured in words or images. I urge every fan of Architecture – Architecture of any kind – if you ever come to the Netherlands; you HAVE to see this Masterpiece.

Unlike other great works by Dutch architects like the tram station in The Hague (that I blogged on the 3rd of Dec 2005) by Rem Koolhas and OMA – which I called Magic; this project by MVRDV is quiet impossible to explain. Though I’ll give it a try.

* Here the ‘stacking’ act (that MVRDV is famous for) is stretched to an extreme condition where it goes beyond just placing different functions over each other.

* Here the surface of the floor flows through different levels forming a sort of landscape, sometimes smooth and flowing like a gentle mount of snow and sometimes rigid and sharp like cliffs into a canyon.

* Here the innovative use of traditional and not so traditional materials transcends it’s mere physical purpose and creates a collage - a collage of experiences, a collage of work spaces, a collage of memories.

* Actually beyond all the above here one gets to know what is Super about the Super Dutch.

Along side the VPRO within the same Media Park there is another MVRDV projects (see above). In this one another architectural act, this time of ‘lifting’ is explored in a very simple building that seems to be propped off the ground to form an interesting cave like feel in an undulating landscape.

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