MVRDV Wins NAi Prize

Dutch architects MVRDV won the 2002 NAi Prize for their Hageneiland housing project, the Netherlands Architecture Institute announced this month. The prize salutes the best buildings by Dutch architects who are younger than 40. While architects elsewhere often wait years to realize their designs, this is not so in the Netherlands where young designers are given opportunities to turn their designs into buildings. Perhaps that is why Dutch architecture holds such a respected position in the creative community worldwide.

The winning MVRDV design is a neighborhood of highly archetypical houses that differ from each other only in their cladding materials, which include wooden shingles, zinc, aluminum, and earthenware tiles—all in vivid colors.

MVRDV has provided footpaths and play areas that wrap around the houses while public roads run along the margin of the development. To achieve a village-like neighborhood, the architects created a varied layout by dividing up the site into plots with varied lot lines-not the usual straight lines.

“An important quality of the project is the ingenious urban design of its layout. MVRDV’s Hageneiland housing project demonstrates how variety can be achieved despite tight restrictions,” stated the Netherlands Architecture Institute in a press release.

The NAi Prize is awarded every two years. This year five projects—all by Dutch architects within the past two years—were nominated. All five displayed their work at the NEXT architecture biennial in Venice. (The group won the biennial’s top prize in 2002.)

MVRDV’s winning entry is currently on display, together with the four other nominated projects (listed below), in the entrance hall of the Netherlands Architecture Institute and will remain in place until February 16, 2003:

Parasite Las Palmas, Rotterdam
Korteknie Stuhlmacher Architecten, Rotterdam

Pilot shop for Mandarina Duck, Paris
NL Architects, Amsterdam

“De Verbeelding” Exhibition Pavilion, Zeewolde
René van Zuuk Architecten, Almere

Temporary Bike Shed, Central Station Amsterdam
VMX Architects, Amsterdam

Categories: Cities