Photo by MVRDV.
This week we came across a fascinating article that displays innovative architecture in the form of glass brick technology used to replace the brick facade of a building by Maas Van Rijs De Vries (MVRDV). The building has been converted into a Chanel boutique store from its previous residential use. The glass keeps the functional transparency of a typical storefront while also keeping the original character of the building. According to the testing process these glass bricks are, “in many ways, stronger than concrete”. “Crystal Houses make space for a remarkable flagship store, respect the structure of the surroundings and bring a poetic innovation in glass construction,” said Winy Maas, one of the three co-founders of MVRDV.
MVRDV has used a pioneering glass technology to replace the brick facade of a former townhouse in Amsterdam with a transparent replica, more suited to the building’s new use as a Chanel boutique.
Described by the Rotterdam studio as the first of its kind, the innovative facade of Crystal Houses Amsterdam uses glass bricks, windows frames and architraves to recreate the city’s traditional architectural style.
Towards the upper storeys, the glass elements merge with the original terracotta brickwork to create the illusion of a dissolving wall.
The architects believe the technology offers a solution to the loss of local character in city centres around the world, many of which are now dominated by plain glass shopfronts.
“We said to the client, ‘Let’s bring back what will be demolished but develop it further’,” said Winy Maas, one of the three co-founders of MVRDV.