MVRDV co-leads HASSELL team for Resilient by Design’s San Francisco Bay Area Challenge

Sep 12, 2017 -- MVRDV and HASSELL have been announced as one of ten teams taking part in a yearlong research challenge bringing together engineers, architects, water specialists and other experts to work alongside communities to identify critical areas and come up with design strategies and solutions for the Bay Area of San Francisco.

Resilient by Design 
San Francisco Bay Area and Oakland harbour
Image: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library

Resilient by Design’s Bay Area Challenge is a collaborative research-design project bringing together local residents, public officials and local, national and international experts to develop innovative solutions to climate change. Home to more than seven million people, the San Francisco Bay is one of America’s largest urban agglomerations and one of the most globally significant hubs for cultural and economic output.  “Water has always been in the DNA of the Dutch and our society has developed an urban strategy that is resilient against flooding and other natural disaster risks”, says Nathalie de Vries, co-founder, MVRDV. “We are interested in contributing solutions to the challenges faced by the San Francisco Bay through a new sustainable programming strategy, combined with natural features.’’

The team headed by HASSELL are one of ten teams selected by Resilient by Design, modeled after the successful Rebuild by Design challenge that addressed infrastructure needs in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut following the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. The program is tied to The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities network, which aims to support 100 cities to build resilience for the 21st-century. Multidisciplinary experts will work alongside communities to identify critical areas throughout the Bay Area and teams will propose exciting, new, community-based solutions that will strengthen the region’s resilience against sea level rises, severe storms, flooding, and earthquakes. The area has the potential to connect communities across the region; functionally, economically and socially. The key challenge for building resilience in this region is to protect the most vulnerable communities who are at greatest risk from natural disasters.

MVRDV has extensive experience developing visions for cities (Glasgow, Almere, Caen, and Paris) and will work with an experienced Dutch and international team, based in some of the world’s most inspiring water-front cities including Deltares and Lotus Water (Ecology), Frog Design and Originate (Social Impact and Technology), Civic Edge Consulting (Community Engagement), Goudappel (Transport), and Page & Turnbull (Architectural and Cultural Preservation).  The project commences with three-month Collaborative Research Phase, followed by a five-month Collaborative Design Phase which will conclude with an implementable conceptual design solution seeking to integrate communities and respond to the effects of climate change.

MVRDV was set up in 1993 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries. MVRDV engages globally in providing solutions to contemporary architectural and urban issues. A research based and highly collaborative design method engages experts from all fields, clients, and stakeholders in the creative process.The results are exemplary and outspoken buildings, urban plans, studies and objects, which enable our cities and landscapes to develop towards a better future.

Early projects by the office, such as the headquarters for the Dutch Public Broadcaster VPRO and WoZoCo housing for the elderly in Amsterdam lead to international acclaim. MVRDV develops its work in a conceptual way in which the changing conditions are visualized and discussed through designs, sometimes literally through the design and construction of a diagram. The office continues to pursue its fascination for and methodical research on density using a method of shaping space using the complex amounts of data that accompany contemporary building and design processes.The work of MVRDV is exhibited and published worldwide and has received numerous international awards. 200 architects, designers, and other staff develop projects in a multi-disciplinary, collaborative design process which involves rigorous technical and creative investigation.

MVRDV works with BIM and has official in-house BREEAM and LEED assessors. Together with Delft University of Technology, MVRDV runs The Why Factory, an independent think tank and research institute providing an agenda for architecture and urbanism by envisioning the city of the future.

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