Are you aware of the serious lack of notable music that comes from Denmark? When I read the announcement of the proposal selected for the new Danish Rock Museum, I had to Google what Danish music was out there. And it wasn’t pretty. Luckily the enormous 120,000-square-foot (think two and a half football fields) endeavor isn’t solely meant to display the Danish Way to Rock.
Today you might say that all roads lead to China. The country’s a manufacturing powerhouse, producing everything from agricultural fertilizers to iPhones. (Its economy recently overtook Japan as the No. 2 slot after the U.S.) And now it’s positioning itself as one of the largest exporters of … animation? The Chinese government is pouring buckets of greenbacks into gaining the upper hand in cartoons, where it has traditionally lagged behind the West.
MVRDV, the Rotterdam-based architectural firm responsible for such gravity-defying projects as a barn balanced on a hill, has won a much quieter commission: the conversion of a defunct Dijon Mustard "laboratory"—your guess is as good as ours—into a call center for a French teletech company. The goal: Make workers with one of the most monotonous jobs in the universe actually want to come into the office.
Last year, we brought you news of Living Architecture, the lofty-minded non-profit aimed at bringing starchitect-designed holiday rentals to the masses (or at least the masses who can afford it). Now, the first of the houses is complete: a barn that seems to thumb its nose at gravity, by Dutch provocateurs MVRDV, with interiors by Jurgen Bey's Studio Makkink & Bey BV.
From engineering marvels to theme-park megaplexes, America's presence at World Expos has plummeted in recent years, bottoming out in 2010's multi-screened pavilion. What did we lose, and how did we lose it?
No one has better embraced a progressive ideal for our urban future than Dutch design firm MVRDV. Its radical designs comfortably and sustainably fit as many people in as little space as possible. In the past 18 months, the 50-architect firm has been winning design competitions, getting projects green-lighted, and breaking ground on its urban climbing utopias, meaning the rest of the world is finally catching up to its way of thinking.