UNStudio mimics textiles with glass for facade of Amsterdam store
Dutch architectural practice UNStudio has created three curved, glass boxes that "mimic billowing transparent cloth" from the facade of a store on PC Hooftstraat in Amsterdam.
Named The Looking Glass, the store has been designed to be a flagship for a fashion brand on PC Hooftstraat – a shopping street in Amsterdam that is a hub for luxury fashion brands like Prada and Dior.
The store was designed for developer Warenar Real Estate, which also owns the Crystal House – a glass-fronted townhouse designed by MVRDV that is currently an Hermès store.
UNStudio designed the facade with three curved-glass boxes that flow down the front of the facade as a "celebration of textiles" that "mimics billowing transparent cloth".
These glass boxes project forward from the building's brick front and will be used to display clothing, once a tenant moves into the store. The tenant will also complete the store's fit out.
"In a fluid gesture, fashion and architecture come together to represent and celebrate the craftsmanship and geometry of high-end, tailored clothing, creating harmony between aesthetics and function," explained the studio.
"The storefront reinterprets the traditional display window by creating new ways to view art and fashion."
The three glass boxes were all assembled in a factory before being transported to the store.
The curved and straight panes of glass were connected to each other using structural silicone joints that are covered with stainless steel.
"One of the challenges was that the geometry of the manufactured curved glass panels can be different than originally designed," said the studio.
"Our edge details are designed in such a way that the eight-millimetre silicon joints allow for these tolerances."
Above the store, on the building's top two storeys, is an apartment that has also been designed by UNStudio. This apartment is still under construction and will be occupied after the tenant is found for the store.
UNStudio is an Amsterdam-based architecture practice established by Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos in 1988. The studio is currently designing a cable car that will connect Russia with China, a smart city in Bangalore and the headquarters for a bank in Tbilisi.
Photos courtesy of Evabloem.
Client: Warenar Real Estate
Team: Ben van Berkel, Astrid Piber with Ger Gijzen, Marc Salemink, Sontaya Bluangtook and Lars van Hoften, Pauline Caubel, Paul Challis, Tiia Vahula
Facade engineer: ARUP
Structural engineer: Brouwer en Kok
Executive architect for main construction: Gietermans & Van Dijk Architecten
Main contractor: Wessels Zeist
Facade contractor: Octatube Nederland