Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Villa VPro

Villa VPro, located in Hilversum’s Media Park, was designed by the architecture firm MVRDV. The building serves as the office space for the Dutch broadcasting organization, VPro. In 1997, VPro moved from a series of classical villas in the center of the town to the park-like setting of Villa VPro. After the move, the structure of VPro was reorganized from media groupings to clusters based on content. This reorganization was possible due to the more fluid circulation through Villa VPro. There are no corridors in Villa VPro allowing all of the spaces to flow together. Floors are connected to each other by ramps, stepped floors, monumental steps, and small rises. This organization allows for multiple points of focus with no system of hierarchy. To bring more light into the building, MVRDV added courtyards and attached rooms that were cut away from the main building mass. By bringing more light in, MVRDV was able to shadow the difference between outside and inside. I think Villa VPro is a successful building in several ways. The circulation is more modern than the customary Dutch office buildings with rooms branching off from a main corridor. The spaces flow together so the building functions as one mass and not many different rooms. The courtyards and rooms that were cut away from the main building to bring in natural light are also very successful features of Villa VPro. The building brings in the natural light through the glass façade as well as keeps the connection between the office building and the natural surroundings. Being built in a park-like setting, it was important for the architects to incorporate the natural surroundings into the building. They achieved this by adding grass to the roof of the building and making this roof visible to the workers.
Amy Altman

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