Updated Edition of MVRDV Buildings Monograph released after First Edition sells out

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After selling out the First Edition of MVRDV Buildings in just 24 months, MVRDV and nai010 publishers have released an updated Second Edition of the book which now includes recently completed projects such as Markthal, Pushed Slab, and the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam.

In cooperation with Ilka and Andreas Ruby, MVRDV has assembled a redefined collection of its built work, featuring user testimonials, journalist articles, unpublished images and accessible drawings. The book is an attempt to evolve the typology of the architectural monograph, to better reflect the idea that buildings prove their right to existence through use. The updated Second Edition of MVRDV Buildings can be ordered with a special introductory price at www.naibooksellers.nl/mvrdvbuildings.

MVRDV Buildings Monograph
MVRDV’s monograph update features 41 projects – Image © nai010 publishers

In addition to thought provoking projects such as Pig City and Grand Paris, MVRDV have designed a diverse portfolio of realised buildings and urban plans; including the Villa VPRO, the Book Mountain and the Markthal. But how do these buildings perform now that they are occupied? What is the philosophy, logic and design thinking behind the office’s visually powerful concepts? And what is life actually like inside a blue house, on an orange tribune, in a vertical shopping street, or above a gigantic arched market place? This book tries to find the answers to these questions, and in doing so goes beyond the traditional content of an architectural monograph.

Since MVRDV was founded 22 years ago, the office has always tried to include the users of its buildings in its designs: from the translation of their wishes and behaviour into the datascapes that form part of the design process, to their presence in published photographs of finished works. So it seemed natural to involve them once again, and to give them a voice, when the work began of collecting material for this book about 22 years of buildings made by MVRDV.

MVRDV Buildings Monograph
Pushed Slab, now featured in the new edition of Buildings – Image © Eric Sempe

By asking Andreas and Ilka Ruby to edit the book, a journalistic voice was added to the project. Instead of project descriptions by the architect, interviews and visits to the buildings form the basis of the texts, accompanied by clear and easy-to understand drawings of the buildings as they were built. MVRDV also tried hard to find existing photographs of the buildings as they are in use today, rather than commissioning new photographs of emptied spaces. Designer Joost Grootens contributed to this idea by collecting as many amateur photographs of the buildings as he could find, showing what users, visitors and passers-by think is notable, or beautiful, about the works. Clients, users and friends on social media were asked for their collaboration. The making of the book became something of an MVRDV: Revisited, a suitable celebration of the office’s 20-year anniversary.

MVRDV Buildings Monograph
Photo of the Stedlijk Museum Schiedam, taken by one of the 150 photographers included in the book – Image © Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee

Is this book an architectural monograph at all? In a way, yes; unlike many other books in the genre, it shows no interpretations, diagrams or themes. The agenda is simpler this time: only that anyone should be able to read this book, architect or not. Through use, buildings prove their right of existence. The reader of MVRDV Buildings will hold an object that can be used to understand what the buildings look like and how they are organized and used.

The book features 41 projects with user testimonies, an essay by Andreas and Ilka Ruby, 126 new, descriptive drawings and 745 images by photographers such as Jakob Galtt, Roland Halbe, Rob ‘t Hart, Nick Kane, Thomas Loof, Jeroen Musch, Christian Richters, Philippe Ruault, Daria Scagliola, Ossip van Duivenbode, Mark Seelen, Marijke Volkers, Hans Werlemann and more than one hundred fifty other talented photographers, many active on Flickr and Facebook.

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