Madelon Vriesendorp was born in 1945 in Holland. In 1964 she studied in Amsterdam at the Rietveld Academy and later worked on the restoration of old frescoes and as a designer of stage costumes, books and jewellery. Five years later she enrolled at Central St. Martins School of Art in London. She exhibited her work at the Workshop and the Serpentine Gallery, among others.
In 1972 she moved to Ithaca and then New York with her husband, Rem Koolhaas. While in New York, Vriesendorp cofounded the Office for Metropolitan Architecture with Koolhaas, Elia and Zoe Zenghelis. Paintings she produced at the time were used for book and magazine covers, notably on the cover of Delirious New York in 1978 by Rem Koolhaas. They were exhibited at the New York Guggenheim and Max Protetch galleries, at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Stedelijk in Amsterdam, Berlin’s Aedes Gallery and Gallery Ma in Tokyo among others.
In 1976, Vriesendorp returned to London to work on numerous OMA competitions and together with Teri Wehn-Damisch, she made an animated film for French Television. In 1977 they had a daughter and in 1980, a son. From the mid 1980s she taught art and design at a number of schools, including the Architectural Association and the Edinburgh School of Art. Over the last ten years she has worked with in collaboration with Charles Jencks, producing drawings and models to accompany many of his publications, and with her daughter, Charlie on several books and art projects.
Vriesendorp has produced illustrations for Built, Domus and Abitare, while working on costumes, built objects, paintings and short stories. She had her first one-man show in January 2008 at the Architectural Association, which went on to Aedes, Berlin in March and the Venice Architectural Biennale in September that year. A show in Basel opened in January 2009 at the Swiss Architectural Museum.
She received an Honorable Fellowship from the RIBA on the 26th of February 2009. She also had an installation at the Art Biennale in Venice and the Architecture Bienalle in Rotterdam that same year.