On July 5th, the Tyrolean Architecture Center (aut) in Innsbruck will open “Architecture Speaks: The Language of MVRDV”, a major exhibition on the role of language in defining recurring concepts in the oeuvre of the Dutch firm. The aut’s Adambräu Building, a former brewhouse, will be filled by a spatial intervention comprising four towers that serve as distillations of four concepts key to MVRDV’s designs. The exhibition, which investigates the creation and evolution of these four ideas and the words that describe them, is structured around the spatial intervention, creating an immersive experience that helps visitors easily grasp the fundamentals of the MVRDV thought process.
The words studied in Architecture Speaks are “stack”, “pixel”, “village”, and “activator”. “Stack” denotes a layering of functions and spaces perfectly encapsulated by projects such as the Silodam; “pixel” is applied to a spatial module that can be combined with other pixels to introduce diversity, exemplified by projects such as DNB Oslo Headquarters; “village” describes a spatial arrangement that encourages community and social intimacy, as in projects such as Nieuw Leyden; and “activator” refers to elements that create productive social spaces, such as the Stairs to Kriterion. All four words were selected due to their roles in encouraging healthy and prosperous densification, reflecting MVRDV’s mission to accommodate an ever-growing human population in spaces that encourage society to flourish.
“Exhibitions such as this one at the aut are always a valuable tool to share our design approach with the world,” says MVRDV founding partner Nathalie de Vries. “But even more importantly, the creation and curation of Architecture Speaks was an opportunity for us to reflect on our work, to define theoretical categories and place projects from our firm’s recent trajectory into a larger framework of ideas.”
Architecture Speaks will investigate these ideas in a holistic, easily approachable fashion. The main space of the Adambräu Building will be transformed by four colourful towers, each a representation of one of the four words central to the exhibition, which will present MVRDV’s projects and the ideas behind them through images, text, models, drawings, videos, audio, interactive elements, and other experiential methods. In addition to each representing a different word from the language of MVRDV, each tower will present MVRDV buildings through different media, making a visit to Architecture Speaks a truly diverse experience that will enlighten and entertain a variety of audiences.
The exhibition on the work of MVRDV is the latest in a series of notable architecture shows at the aut, following Inhabiting: Pleasure and Luxury for Everyone in 2018 on the work of Lacaton & Vassal, and Snøhetta: Relations in 2017.
Architecture Speaks: The Language of MVRDV is on display to the public from July 6th to September 28th at the aut’s Adambräu Building on Lois Welzenbacher Platz in Innsbruck, Austria. The aut is free to enter and is open from 11am to 6pm Tuesday – Friday, and until 5pm on Saturday. The exhibition has been made possible in part by a contribution from the Creative Industries Fund NL.