Climate change is the defining challenge of our era, and the built environment has a huge role to play in averting the worst-case scenario. At MVRDV, we push for the best possible sustainable features in all of our buildings, with in-house LEED/BREEAM assessors who liaise with clients, advisors, and project teams to achieve the highest sustainability rating possible within the given scope of work. Our ambition is to become 100% sustainable in our design and production, with our in-house ‘Planet’ expert team working relentlessly to make this happen.
In our proposal for La Serre d’Issy in Paris, we rethought housing around the idea of sustainability, creating a vertical ‘micro-village’ of irregularly stacked blocks, all wrapped in a greenhouse-like skin. This generated a series of terraces filled with greenery, spaces that strike a balance between the urban and domestic to encourage a sense of community. As a result, this green project demonstrates the principles of not only environmental sustainability, but also social sustainability.
For the masterplan of the 2022 Floriade horticultural expo, we designed a new, energy-efficient extension to the city centre of Almere that focuses on integrating the qualities of a catalogue of different plant species into residents’ everyday lives. Incorporating plans that will allow the district to generate its own food and energy, Floriade 2022 will be a showcase both for the ways we can live with nature on the local scale and for the ways we can reduce our impact on the environment on a global scale.
Other such showcases include the Pushed Slab, an office building in the first ‘eco-quarter’ of Paris that uses 1,500 square metres of solar panels and efficient insulation techniques to reduce energy consumption to a quarter of that used by a typical office building of the same size. The Hongqiao Flower Building in Shanghai was also constructed as part of a sustainable masterplan (which in this case was also designed by MVRDV) and also uses a host of proven sustainable techniques, achieving the highest rating, three stars, on the Chinese Green Building Label scheme.
To us sustainability is not just one receipt or a technological application, we see it as a holistic model to design and maintain buildings. Circular principles in construction and the use of wood structures is a step we therefore took with the Book Mountain in Spijkenisse and the Magasin 113 in the port of Gothenburg.
Hongqiao Flower Building
Almere Floriade 2022
La Vallée Verte
Expo Pavilion 2.0
(Y)our City Centre