This morning, Dutch architecture and urban design practice MVRDV released a statement denouncing the violence that has erupted on European soil after Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. The firm also expressed its solidarity with all of those who are “defying and protesting against this war.”
“Our heartfelt sympathy and thoughts are with the people of Ukraine,” reads the statement, which is shared in full below.
The firm goes on to state that its projects in Ukraine have been “put on hold by the atrocities” and that its work in Russia has also been halted “until further notice.” The move comes as Europe and the United States continue a coordinated effort to isolate and punish Russia for its illegal acts of aggression against the neighboring sovereign nation of Ukraine and its people. Rotterdam-headquartered MVRDV is the first major European architectural firm working in Russia to release such a statement to AN’s knowledge. As a nation, the Netherlands has closed its airspace to Russia and announced that it will ship vital military aid to Ukraine, including anti-tank systems and air defense rockets. Major anti-war demonstrations have also been staged across the country in recent days, including in Amsterdam, Nijmegan, and a city that’s been at the tip of many tongues as of late, The Hague.
Per MVRDV, one under-construction Russian project is the firm’s mixed-use RED7 residential project in central Moscow, developed by GK Osnova. Although MVRDV has designed and master planned numerous projects in Russia, no others aside from the nearly 56,000-square-foot RED7 appear to have evolved past the competition/design phase yet per the firm’s website.
However, AN reached out to MVRDV for clarification regarding the stopped projects in Russia and Ukraine and learned from a spokesperson that the firm is involved with a total of six additional projects of various types, including large-scale renovations and urban master plans, in both countries that do not appear on the MVRDV website and have not been publicly announced at this point. Two of the unnamed, MVRDV-helmed Russian projects are in Moscow, one is in Saint Petersburg, and one is in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar. Two of the six undisclosed projects, including a private residence and urban master plan, are in the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv.
AN will update this article with any new details about these projects if and when more information comes to light.
MVRDV’s statement on the war in Ukraine in full reads:
Until recently, we walked the streets that are now a war zone. Our heartfelt sympathy and thoughts are with the people of Ukraine. We are thinking about our friends, partners, and clients that are in danger at this moment. We support our colleagues who are worried about their country and their loved ones.
We stand in solidarity with all the people who are defying and protesting against this war, and we strongly condemn the violence. As architects and urbanists, we work in many countries to make a difference and we believe wholeheartedly in international dialogue and in peace. For this reason, we have immediately stopped our involvement in projects in Russia until further notice.
As a practice, we are affected twofold. Our projects in Ukraine have sadly been put on hold by the atrocities. Right after the start of the invasion, we began contacting our Ukrainian friends and partners in support and we try to remain in touch. They are brave and they are experiencing incredible hardship. We have stopped our Russian projects, even though this means we have to stop collaborating with people we have known for years, and who are dedicated to bringing a more collaborative international outlook to Russia.