MVRDV - Nathalie de Vries on Sea2City at the Floating Habitat Symposium

Nathalie de Vries on Sea2City at the Floating Habitat Symposium


How do you plan for future sea level rise and help flood-vulnerable shoreline, communities, and businesses to become more resilient?

As part of the Politecnico di Milano and University of New South Wales's Floating Habitat Symposium, on 30 May, founding partner, architect, and urban planner Nathalie de Vries will elaborate on Sea2City, a project which helped inform a framework and vision to guide urban development and ecological revitalisation in the False Creek floodplain, a highly valued and constrained urban waterway in the heart of the city.

MVRDV was part of a design team invited to work investigate the urban future of False Creek, and provide long-term proposals for the Between Bridges and Coopers’ Park areas. With traditional approaches to resisting water via hard infrastructure no longer being effective, Nathalie's contribution will discuss the re-wilding vision for the larger system of the False Creek waterfront and these concrete sites’ futures in 2100 and beyond, pilot project proposals, how indigenous community knowledge was incorporated, and how allowing cities to coexist with water is a requirement for building resilience.

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. She is currently Professor of Architectural Design and Public Building at Delft University of Technology, and from 2021 to 2023 held the role of City Architect for Groningen. 

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.

  • Date & time: 30 May, 10:20 (CEST).
  • Location: Online.
  • More information on the conference can be found here