Founding partner/principal architect and urban planner, leading MVRDV since 1993
Education: Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
Memberships: Hon. FAIA, International FRIBA, BNA
Nathalie de Vries is founding partner of MVRDV, an architect and urban planner and the “DV” in MVRDV. She is an Honorary Fellow of the AIA and International Fellow of the RIBA. De Vries is also City Architect for the municipality of Groningen and a professor at TU Delft.
The work of De Vries focuses on the invention of new building typologies and the creation of changeable, open systems, an approach which she brings to both buildings and urban plans. Her projects are spatially varied and ground breaking, always giving particular attention to the project’s interaction with the public domain. With MVRDV, De Vries develops sustainable and innovative concepts and working methods, and showcases them through exhibitions, publications, interviews, and lectures.
As an architect, she appreciates intensive collaboration with clients and interdisciplinary design teams, but also with residents and other stakeholders. Whatever the project, there is always a lot of attention given to the design’s interaction with its surroundings, by designing inviting collective spaces and outdoor areas, among other approaches. In her urban designs, De Vries explores the combination of high-quality public spaces with functionally mixed buildings that act as catalysts for the development of an area.
Together with MVRDV, De Vries has won various awards for both individual buildings and for her entire oeuvre, such as the Amsterdamprijs, the Architizer A+ Award and Red Dot Design Award. Juries, clients, and end users alike appreciate the way she stretches the boundaries of existing typologies. Well-known designs by Nathalie include Silodam, the transformation of a former silo building and dam into a new residential and work building; the masterplan for the former ING site Westerpark-West in Amsterdam; and Ilot de l'Octroi in Rennes, France.
Other notable designs by De Vries include the library of Spijkenisse, a mountain of books incorporating many public meeting spaces; the Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam, a listed building with surprising hotel rooms that functions as the living room of the neighbourhood; Concordia Design Wrocław, a co-working office in Poland with lively public functions on the ground floor and a publicly accessible roof terrace; and the entrance to the Stedelijk Museum in Schiedam. Several mixed-use projects and master plans are also currently under construction or in development in Amsterdam, Brussels, San Francisco and Thailand.
De Vries is committed to the education of future generations of architects. She has been active as a teacher throughout her career, and she is currently Professor of Architectural Design and Public Building at Delft University of Technology. Previously, she taught at TU Berlin, Harvard GSD, IIT Chicago, and the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, among others. She is also a sought-after publicist and columnist and, with co-founder Jacob van Rijs, produced the monograph MVRDV Buildings (2015). In the past she has held various additional positions: from 2014-2018 she was chairperson of the Royal Institute of Dutch Architects (BNA) and from 2005-2008 was Chief Railroad Architect of the Netherlands.