French Ambassador to the Netherlands Jean-François Blarel yesterday awarded the highest French decoration, the Chevalier de la Légion dHonneur, to Dutch architect Winy Maas of MVRDV.
The Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte on May 19, 1802. The Order is the highest decoration in France and was in the past awarded to among others Karl Lagerfeld, Anna Wintour, Ingrid Betancourt and Robert Redford.
Maas practices contemporary Dutch architecture and is part of Atelier du Grand Paris, the think tank concerned with the future planning of Greater Paris. MVRDV is engaged in a range of French projects in Bordeaux, Caen, Paris, Dijon and Lyon.
"His work is characterized by experiment, innovation and sustainability," stated a representative from the French Embassy. "The style is surprising and the materialization is unusual. MVRDV knows how to evoke enthusiasm for architecture with stakeholders and large audiences. Their daring projects distinguished by understanding of contemporary needs respect the demands of the present-day developments with flexibility and innovation in regards to the issues the modern metropolis faces."