Frans de Witte (Rotterdam, 1973) joined MVRDV in 1996, before joining the company he briefly worked at JP van Eesteren contractors. He is currently leading projects in the Netherlands, Switzerland, France and the USA, among which the 110.000 m2 renovation of the Parisian Le Gaite Shopping Center and Pullman Hotel and the soon to open Crystal Houses flagship store in Amsterdam. Frans is greatly experienced in construction projects and has executed many buildings within time and budget, he has participated in MVRDV projects such as Silodam Housing, Glass Farm Schijndel, Balancing Barn and the Sky Vault Penthouse in New York.
MVRDV updates its organisation and appoints five new partners
Today the founding partners of MVRDV, Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries, announce an update of the management structure to accommodate the growth and optimise the efficiency of the globally operating architecture and urbanism practice. The now 140 staff office with subsidiaries in Shanghai and Paris will be subdivided into eight departments, five new partners commit themselves to the office to nurture intellectual and creative continuity, organisational growth and stability. The new partners are Frans de Witte, Fokke Moerel, Jeroen Zuidgeest, Wenchian Shi and Jan Knikker. MVRDV’s founding partners continue their activities as before, in addition Jacob van Rijs will take on the role of managing director. Furthermore three heads of departments are announced: Stefan de Koning, Bertrand Schippan and Olaf van den Broek.
MVRDV today is a healthy company with set growth ambitions and a global portfolio. The company used the years of the recent economic crisis to professionalise, introduce BIM, BREEAM and LEED and build up a visualisation department. Opening Markthal Rotterdam, a building that is better known that its makers, was an accelerator for the practice and helped it grow from 65 staff members to the current 140. MVRDV works currently on five continents with a portfolio that ranges from private homes to large scale urban planning, and every scale in-between. Maintaining a wide typological portfolio is both challenging and at the same time a quality for innovation, creating exchange and specific solutions for each client rather than repetition.
In order to streamline the organisation further, it will be structured in eight departments: five geographic areas, urbanism, marketing and finance. This model is expected to create smaller, flexible units, maintain and further develop the company’s spirit, its adventurous innovation, social agenda and its family character. “We are in exciting times of expansion, both in office size and in entering new countries” explains MVRDV Founding Partner Jacob van Rijs, “but we have prepared for this moment over the last five years, professionalising and aligning the organisation according to our set goals. Now is a good moment to announce the results of this organisational update that creates a solid basis for a financially stable future. MVRDV is now larger, more professional and more active than ever before.”
The new partnership model follows the organisation of the management that has been in place since 2008, in which the new partners took on essential roles in the company’s management. Now their continued efforts have been rewarded and from January 1st 2016 they became partners at MVRDV.
The organisational update concerns the head office in Rotterdam, MVRDV Asia will remain under the leadership of its director Marta Pozo and continue all projects as before. Since recently MVRDV has also had an office in Paris which overlooks the projects under construction in France.
MVRDV was founded by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries in 1992 as a start-up in a make-shift office in the port of Rotterdam. Its first project, the 10.000m2 public broadcasting centre Villa VPRO, was widely noticed. In 2000 the office completed the Netherland Pavilion at the EXPO2000 in Hannover, which opened up international markets. Ever since the firm has been active worldwide, it is reinventing urban and architectural typologies to provide perfectly customised services to private people, companies and public institutions. In June of this year MVRDV will move into a new office in the centre of Rotterdam.
Image: Allard van der Hoek