Urban design centered on user-defined, innovative and sustainable ideas


Detroitisit, in partnership with the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Chicago, and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Washington DC will host a summit on sustainable urban design with the aim of developing creative solutions through a global but hyperlocal virtual program in partnership with and during the Dutch Design Week.

Winy Maas, co-founder and lead architect of MVRDV, an interdisciplinary studio that works at the intersection of architecture and urbanism, performs ultra-creative urban design work around the world. Having received international fame for its range of urban planning and construction projects, across all typologies and all scales, Mass is a constant advocate of denser, greener, more attractive and more livable cities, with an approach of the design, focused on user-defined innovation. , and sustainable ideas for the built environment.

Join us for a new discussion between progressive leaders based in the Netherlands and Michigan working to apply applications of sustainable urban design and circular economy in architecture, design, policy, development, mobility , the supply of materials and rethinking the way in which cities, their citizens, their cohesion, and the buildings that occupy space coexist.

MVRDV representative at the Summit, hear Fedor Bron, view of the Associate Director on the topics on October 19, 2021. The Sustainable Urban Design Summit will take place virtually on Zoom on October 19e and 21st To 9:30 a.m. EST and 3:30 p.m. CET simultaneously.

Sign up for your FREE space to attend the Zoom Summit here: Sustainableurbandesignsummit.com

MVRDV was established in 1993 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries. MVRDV is committed globally to provide solutions to contemporary architectural and urban problems. A research-based and highly collaborative design method engages experts from all fields, clients and stakeholders in the creation process. The result is exemplary and straightforward buildings, town plans, studies and objects, which allow our cities and landscapes to develop towards a better future.

With additional offices in Paris and soon in New York, they continue to pursue their fascination and their methodical research on density. The products of MVRDV’s unique approach to design vary, from buildings of all types and sizes, to urban plans and visions, to numerous publications, installations and exhibits.

Ahead of the Sustainable Urban Design Summit, Winy Maas here shares some of the business philosophies and examples of how innovative, social and green architecture is changing the world.


Maas discusses a few key initiatives, saying the company has a strong focus on controlling temperature and air quality by changing the built environment with sustainable design-driven approaches.


Of density, he said,

We strongly believe in the value of density to prevent urban sprawl in cities around the world. We also believe in a number of principles for creating a quality living environment, including diversity, freedom, sustainability, happiness and common space, and we apply these principles from neighborhood developments to entire cities.

An example is Bordeaux France where MVRDV developed very small narrow streets and cut the roofs of buildings in such a way as to create shadows to keep the city cool in the summer. Conversely, the streets are entirely white to retain the heat in winter. Planting contributes to the filtration of air by evaporation. In this way, they shifted the density to a sustainable and pleasant environment.


Maas says greenery and vegetation are essential elements that MVRDV exploits for sustainability and temperature control.

Climate change is our biggest challenge, and being creative in the way we manage and design the built environment plays a huge role in avoiding the worst-case scenario, he says.

“Our in-house team of ‘planet’ experts are working to create green roofs, green walls and green streets in urban areas in very creative ways. “

One example is their proposal for La Serre d’Issy in Paris, where they redesigned the housing around the idea of ​​sustainability, creating a ‘vertical micro-village of irregularly stacked blocks, all wrapped in a skin similar to a greenhouse “. This project demonstrates the principles of not only environmental sustainability, but also social sustainability.

Another ongoing project is the Floriade Horticultural Expo 2022. It is an energy-efficient extension of Almere city center, which focuses on integrating the qualities of plants native to the Netherlands into the daily lives of people. residents. Incorporating plans that will allow the neighborhood to generate its own food and energy, Floriade 2022 will be a showcase both for the ways we can live with nature on a local scale and for the ways we can reduce our impact on it. environment on a global scale.



Oriental Market Glass Fresco Complex

In Detroit, Maas and his company are making progress on the innovative Glass Mural, a one-of-a-kind four-story office and retail building located in Eastern Market in Russell and Division.



The glazed facades will be produced, in partnership with the developer Real Estate Firm, using digital ceramic printing, a technique in which MVRDV has considerable experience. They have already used the technology in their 2013 Glass Farm project, where an image of a typical Dutch farmhouse was enlarged and printed on the exterior of a new glass building in the heart of the village of Schijndel, the Netherlands .

Maas concludes: “With this building, we want to strengthen the identity of the Eastern market. We want to preserve art and memory and at the same time add something new, in the spirit of the neighborhood, in a fun and unexpected way. We want to embrace the history, present and future of the Eastern market. In addition, we want to involve people and bring the community together.

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