MVRDV - Nathalie de Vries to discuss Life in Europe’s urban sprawl and The Public Dimension of Architecture

Nathalie de Vries to discuss Life in Europe’s urban sprawl and The Public Dimension of Architecture


On 9 May, MVRDV founding partner Nathalie de Vries will participate in two events during “Life in Europe’s Urban Sprawl”, taking place at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB). Held within the overall framework of the CCCB’s Suburbia Festival, Life in Europe’s Urban Sprawl brings together experts from all over Europe to discuss the phenomenon of urban sprawl, which is increasingly present in Europe.

 At 11:30, in a debate freely accessible to the public, Nathalie will join fellow panellists Joan Roig and Mette Skjold as they discuss issues related to the design of urban sprawl, overseen by chair Hans Ibelings. At 18:30, Nathalie will speak on The Public Dimension of Architecture, during which she will present a number of recent works in the context of European cities facing critical challenges such as climate change and urban sprawl, and in conversation with Hans they will also discuss how the work of architects impacts the public and social realms. This event is open to the public at a cost of €3.

  • Date & Time: 9 May, 11:30 and 18:30 CET
  • Location: Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB)
  • More information on the events can be found here and here.

Nathalie de Vries is founding partner of MVRDV, an architect and urban planner, and the “DV” in MVRDV. She is currently also Professor of Architectural Design and Public Building at Delft University of Technology. From 2021 to 2023 holding the role of City Architect for Groningen, Nathalie’s work 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. Well-known designs by Nathalie include 2 faculties for the University of Toronto, several projects for resilient urban design in Groningen, Vancouver and San Francisco, as well as the recently finished mixed-use projects for Mission Rock in San Francisco, and Ascension Paysagère in Rennes, France. A number of mixed-use projects and masterplans are also currently under construction in Amsterdam, Brussels, and Boston. She has also created cultural projects for the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam and the Buitenplaats Ypenburg. Older projects for MVRDV include Villa VPRO, Silodam, Nieuw Leyden, and the Lloyd Hotel.

As an architect, Nathalie 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, Nathalie explores the combination of high-quality public spaces with functionally mixed buildings that act as catalysts for the development of an area. 

Nathalie is committed to the education of future generations of architects. She has been active as a teacher throughout her career, and previously, she taught at TU Berlin, Harvard GSD, IIT Chicago, and the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, among others, and frequently provides lectures to students and young professionals on architecture and urbanism at a number of academic institutions worldwide. She has also been chair of the Royal Insitute of Dutch architects and Chief Railroad Architect.