MVRDV - Nathalie de Vries to present a live oral history of Villa VPRO and Lloyd Hotel at HNI

Nathalie de Vries to present a live oral history of Villa VPRO and Lloyd Hotel at HNI


What really happens behind the scenes when designing and building architectural projects? How do these stories impact the completed building? And how can telling these stories add layers of richness to the historical record?

The exhibition MVRDVHNI: The Living Archive, which will soon close after a 10-month display at Het Nieuwe Instituut, looks into the roots of MVRDV’s design philosophy. The exhibition is a multi-layered examination of thirty years of work, highlighting the projects and the evolving ideas behind MVRDV’s work while providing insight into design processes and the challenges of preserving such materials for future generations. A key aspect of the exhibition is the collaboration and dialogue with Het Nieuwe Instituut’s curation team, which transforms this exhibition of layers into a complex matrix. Part of this collaboration was a series of oral histories captured on film, in which MVRDV's architects tell the stories behind a project's creation while unboxing archival materials from the design process.

On September 2 at Het Nieuwe Instituut, MVRDV founding partner Nathalie de Vries will present a live unboxing of two of MVRDV's earliest projects, the Villa VPRO and the Lloyd Hotel, as Associate Professor Janina Gosseye discusses the ways in which oral histories can add otherwise-forgotten stories to an archive. Joining them are the curators of MVRDVHNI, providing a deep dive into the role oral histories can play in the construction of archives. 

Nathalie de Vries is a founding partner of MVRDV, an architect and urban planner. Her work focuses on the invention of new building typologies and the creation of changeable, open systems - an approach that she brings to both buildings and urban plans. Her projects are spatially varied and groundbreaking, always giving particular attention to the project’s interaction with the public domain. In her urban designs, De Vries explores the combination of high-quality public spaces with functionally mixed buildings that act as catalysts for the development of an area.

Together with MVRDV, Nathalie has won various awards for both individual buildings and for her entire oeuvre, such as the Amsterdamprijs, the Architizer A+ Award and Red Dot Design Award. Among her many well-known designs are the Villa VPRO, a revolutionary office for the Dutch broadcaster that abandoned traditional workspace layouts in favour of an undulating and stepped concrete landscape, and the Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam, a transformation of a listed building with surprising hotel rooms that functions as the living room of the neighbourhood. These two buildings serve as the topic of discussion at this event.

Het Nieuwe Instituut is the national museum for architecture, design and digital culture. Located in the architecture city of Rotterdam, Het Nieuwe Instituut focuses on major developments in society, such as the shortage in the housing market, the energy transition, the rise of artificial intelligence, mobility, and the use of public space. Designers, including architects and digital makers, make an important contribution to these developments. The past is a source of inspiration for current issues and in shaping the future, and therefore, Het Nieuwe Instituut connects past, present, and future in its unique programme. In doing so, it pays extra attention to important events and developments that have been neglected in the past - such as the work of women in architecture.

  • Date: 2 September 2022.
  • Location: Het Niewe Instituut, Rotterdam. 
  • For more information, use this link
  • Attendees to the event on Friday will also receive free tickets to visit the MVRDVHNI exhibition throughout its final weekend.