All posts by Jessica Mull

MVRDV- China Hills

MVRDV created an exhibition that visualized the possibilities of the available space that the growing urban population of China’s housing and other programs will require. Their exhibition questions of the typology of future urbanization of China.  The rapid growing cities will lead to higher buildings. The current typology of towers with their flashy facades do not offer sufficient natural lighting for for food and energy production above ground level. MVRDV thought that by making spacious, raked terraces, the opportunities for food and energy production would increase. The interiors of these ‘hills’ are made for retail, leisure, and industry, with giant grottoes for programs which require less light, to save on energy. Building these ‘hills’ in and around existing cities, it will form a new inhabited mountain range. This way individuality  can blend with collective responsibilities, and where architecture, urbanism and landscape blend into a continuous spatial experience.

MVRDV- Parkrand

Parkrand is a private residential building and access to the inside is restricted. However, a walk around the park will provide stunning views of the scheme. It has five towers that are sandwiched between a communal patio and rooftop penthouses that create an open and airy block that offers different views from all directions. It has semi-public patios that are raised so that its overlooks the park. There is a garden that offers protection from rain and wind, with secured access, and more intimate spaces and playgrounds for children. The idea of an “outdoor living room” is accentuated by the use of soft furniture, decorative walls, ceiling and floor finishes, plants, and ‘chandeliers’. The towers on the building are positioned in a way so that they dont block views of the park from the neighbourhood. MVRDV achieved this by perforating the roof plate in three places. These are also repeated at the ground floor, forming two courtyards that offer light, view and access to the apartments that are on the first level. Like the Market Hall, Parkland recieved awards such as, it was nominated for Mies van der Rohe Award for Contemporary European
Architecture 2008 , Barcelona, ES
High Commendation, World Architecture Awards, 2008 Barcelona, ES

MVRDV- Frøsilos


The Frøsilo is a waterfront conversion of silos located in the old harbour area of Copenhagen.  The building is primarily used for housing. The apartment floors are hung on the outside of the silos, which creates two enormous atria, while allowing each room to benefit from views and the flexibility in the plan. It projects the floors to the outside to take advantage of the silo’s shape. Beautiful views are maximized and maximum flexibility is achieved. It is covered by a glazed roof, creating a futuristic lobby in which people move up and down. All of +the useable space, every room, profits from its unique location.

MVRDV- Anyang Peak

The Anyang Resort is a park that used to be a popular tourism site during the 70-80’s, but couldn’’t keep up with changes in society. The outdoor swimming pool was the most popular attraction but it is outdated so it was no longer used. Anyang Peak functions merely as an entrance to the mountain region now days, surrounded by restaurants and bars.MVRDV revitalized this area by emphasizing the natural wonders around it. The viewing tower sits atop a hill making into an ‘Anyang Peak’. The peak allows visitors to have a chance to see far out over the surrounding mountain landscape. The path leading up the hill was used as a tool to generate this idea. The spiral path continues into the tower. The internal void of the tower acts as a pavilion and can hold a small exhibition or installation. It can also be used as a performance space, allowing visitors to look down on the stage from the peak above. The tower is now a popular destination.

MVRDV- Hongqiao Flower Building

The Hongqiao Flower Building is the first building in MVRDV’s sustainble masterplan. It is a flower shaped building has grade A offices and rental flexibility. It is on the edge of Shanghai’s Honqiao airport and will eventually include a total of 9 office buildings atop an Aedas-designed underground shopping centre. The building will be completed in early 2016. The sustainable building features are high performance insulation, optimised building forms, shaded spaces, natural ventilation, rainwater collection, permeable road surfaces, links to public transportation and a reduction in the urban heat island effect. It will also offer green roofs as a habitat for local species. It has received a 3-star Green Building Label, which is the best energy performance rating available in China.

MVRDV- Market Hall

MVRDV is an architecture and urban design practice founded in 1993 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. MVRDV is an acronym for the founders; Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries. The practice provides solutions to contemporary architectural and urban issues.

Market Hall is a sustainable building that serves as a place for living, leisure, food, and parking. During the day it serves as a central market hall and after the market is closed it serves as a public space. It is a part of the new inner city heart of the Laurens Quarter, the original pre-war centre of Rotterdam. As apartments, they follow strict Dutch laws regarding natural day-light. All of the rooms that require natural light are situated on the outside part of the building. To establish a connection to the market, all of the kitchens, dining rooms, and storage space are on the market side. The front and backside are covered with a flexible suspended glass façade, to allow for maximum transparency and a minimum of structure, which will be the largest of its kind in Europe.

Market Hall has won many awards including, MIPIM Award for Best Shopping Centre, FR NEPROM Prize for Best Urban Development, NL NRW Jaarprijs for Best Retail Building in the Netherlands, NL
WAN Mixed Use Award, UK
Dutch Public Archaeology Award 2015, NL – for Time Stair
Dutch National Building Award 2015, NL – for Cablenet Facade
Rotterdam Marketing Award, NL – Winy Maas and Hans Schröder
ESPA Standard Award, 2014, NL – for underground car park
ESPA Gold Award, 2015, NL – for underground car park
European Parking Award, Best New Parking Structure, 2015, NL – for underground car park
Finalist ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards
Benelux Trophy for Thermal Galvanization, Characteristic Steel Elements, NL – for Cablenet Facade
MAPIC Best Retail Urban Project Award 2015, FR

Chichen Itza

It is tradition that my family goes to Tulum, Mexico every December for a fun family vacation. And of course you cannot go to Tulum without taking a miserable bus ride to the beautiful ancient city of Chichen Itza. Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities in the Yucatan. There are pyramids, massive temples, carved columns and sports fields. I recommend taking the tour first to learn about the incredible history behind each structure; you will learn things that you would have never expected. But if you go a second time, take the time to look at each structure because it will literally leave you in awe. My favorite structure was of course the Castillo pyramid. It has four sides that contain 365 steps (depicting the solar year), 52 panels (for each year in the Mayan century as well as each week in the solar year) and 18 terraces (for the 18 months in the religious year).  The coolest part of the Castillo pyramid is when the fall and spring equinoxes, the sun’s shadow forms an enormous snake’s body, that will line up with the carved stone snake head at the bottom. Chichen Itza was probably the most incredible place I have ever visited and I plan on seeing it again this December!1477370_3693918883094_161928293_n 1520611_3693929563361_642168453_n 1521580_3693921843168_1044498309_n

Gooderham Building

I have been to Canada many times and the last time I went to Toronto, Ontario I saw the Gooderham Building. It draws you in by its interesting narrow or “flatiron” shape. Its surrounded by modern buildings so it  really stands out.  It was designed by Toronto architect David Roberts Jr. The City of Toronto designated the building under the Ontario Heritage Act and, in 1977, the Ontario Heritage Trust secured a heritage easement on the building. I loved the uniqueness of the building and how it stood out among all the other buildings. It grabs your attention and almost forced me to look at its details. If you ever find yourself in Toronto, you should definitely stop and see the Gooderham Building!

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Stanley Hotel

My family and I went and stayed at the Stanley Hotel in 2012. The Stanley was built in 1909 by Freelan Oscar Stanley (inventor of the Stanley Steamer automobile). It is well known for its architecture. It has an old world charm to it and has beautiful views due to being at the edge of the Rocky Mountain National Park. The Stanley is a beautiful hotel and has so much history. The downside is that it is considered one of America’s most haunted hotels. Stephen King’s, The Shining, was inspired by the Stanley after he had stayed and experienced some of the hotels paranormal activity. Haunting’s have been recorded since 1911. So knowing that information alone, I was excited but terrified to stay here. We had a great time and even took their ghost tour. Lets just say I didn’t sleep the 3 nights we were there. It was a fun experience and an incredibly beautiful hotel but I enjoy my sleep so I probably wont return!bovabcssfer9v3k1aqoj

Gaillardia Country Club

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Gaillardia country club was built in the mid-1990’s. The golf course itself was designed by  Arthur Hills (an award-winning course architect). Later, around 1997, the 55,000-square-foot French-Normandy style clubhouse  was built. The clubhouse was designed by William Zmitowski Associates. Gaillardia has been recognized as one of the top 100 clubhouses in the world. It is obvious just by looking at the building how incredible it is. I was actually there again just a week ago to tour it as a wedding venue. Every time you go, there is  always something new you haven’t seen yet. I decided that day that it was were I wanted to get married because I was in awe of how beautiful it was.