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Beyond the Cover explores the stories behind a selection of seminal buildings. The series invites architects to go beyond the familiar imagery by contextualizing a single building in relation to regulations, finance, and policies, making visible the political, economic, and social relations that constructed architecture embodies. For this iteration, Jacob van Rijs (co-founder of MVRDV) will revisit the 1997 WoZoCo building. In conversation with Kirsten Hannema and Jacqueline Tellinga, the building will be used as lens to reflect upon the changing conditions of architecture practice. 

19:30 – 21:30
also this evening

14:00-17:00 Mini symposium Organic Architecture

18:00-19:30 Thursday Bite 

19:30-21:30 Archive Explorations: The Community Centre

19:30-21:30 Beyond the Cover: WoZoCo (MVRDV)

19:30-21:00 Sacred Hill: Closure & Performance Ritual

The museum is free of charge from 17:00-21:00 


Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam


Standard€ 7,50
Students, CJP, Friends and Members of Het Nieuwe Instituut€ 3,75

Beyond the Cover

From housing corporations to private-public partnerships, from privatisation to procurement law, and from municipal politics to deregulation of architectural fees, Beyond the Cover will look into the architectural ideas, discourses, technologies, policies and subsidies that materialized in these built forms. The series starts with two social housing projects that flaunted on the covers of the Architecture in the Netherlands yearbooks between 1990 and 2000, and was initiated together with the Curatorial Research Collective of TU/e’s Chair of Architecture History and Theory.


WoZoCo is the first housing complex realized by MVRDV, and the last entirely social housing project to feature on the cover of an Architecture in the Netherlands yearbook. The housing corporation required 100 care homes for elderly residents on a site which could accommodate only units. In response, MVRDV conceived a design where the 13 additional units were adhered to the outside of the main building volume. Presented as a logical outcome to a simple calculation and built for the lowest budget of all the social housing projects in Amsterdam that year, the outspoken result was featured widely in national and international media.

Jacob van Rijs

Jacob van Rijs (Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1964) is a co-founder and principal architect of MVRDV, an interdisciplinary studio that works at the intersection of architecture and urbanism. The award-winning Dutch practice was set up by Van Rijs alongside Winy Maas and Nathalie de Vries in 1993 and has established an international identity with a wide variety of building typologies and scales that are self-generated, innovative, experimental, and theoretical. Van Rijs successfully led the growing MVRDV office into a new era as the firm’s Managing Director, a role he stepped down from in November 2018 in order to spend more time on projects—currently he is working on high-rise projects such as the Modernist and the Sax, both in Rotterdam, and the Pixel in Abu Dhabi—and teaching at the Technical University of Berlin, Germany, where he is Professor of Architectural Design.

Thursday Bite 

Before the Thursday Night you can grab a bite to eat with the speakers and staff of Het Nieuwe Instituut. At 18:00 Het Nieuwe Café will serve a light vegetarian meal. Dinner vouchers are available for € 7.70 up to a day before the particular Thursday Night event via the Tickets link. 

Become a Member

Become a Member of Het Nieuwe Instituut and you’ll support our mission to navigate the vast and evolving field of design. You’ll also be inspired by our special program of Members’ events, meeting up with other like-minded people as we invite you to reflect with us on design’s changing role in technology, economics, culture and society.


Thursday Night at Het Nieuwe Instituut
Luca Napoli

Thursday Night Live! is a weekly programme of lectures, screenings and discussions on architecture, design and digital culture. Developments and critical insights are discussed by thinkers, designers and makers from the Netherlands and abroad.