Dutch architecture practice UNStudio has recreated a typical Dutch townhouse's facade in bricks made from stainless steel and glass for Louis Vuitton's store on Amsterdam shopping street PC Hooftstraat.
On the lower floor of the building's facade, which contains the store, traditional bricks have been replaced with stainless steel bricks with glass inlays that create a pixelated effect.
"The tapered stainless steel bricks, while following the pattern and scale of the traditional brick facades that line this street, create a distinctive textured and detailed appearance that contrasts with other buildings," said UNStudio.
"The glass inlays give the facade a semi-transparent quality and make it possible for the facade to be illuminated from within the bricks."
The decision to create a facade using an alternative brick reflects both the traditional townhouses on the street and The Looking Glass next-door.
"The design reinterprets the traditional brick facades of the other townhouses that line the PC Hooftstraat through materiality, but especially, and intentionally, contrasts to The Looking Glass," explained UNStudio.
"Where The Looking Glass display windows protrude and flow over two floors, at 140-142 the windows slant inwards and are more traditionally scaled on the second floor."
According to the architecture studio, the detail of the facade contrasts with the shop next door and is a nod towards couture design.
"While its neighbour's glass curvature is inspired by the flowing forms of textiles, the facade design of 140-142 relates more to the fine detail found in couture design, while referencing lacing, reflection, texture and transparency," said the studio.
"Overall scale is an important factor: in the Glass House both the concept and resulting design present a 'big detail', whereas in 140-142 the focus is on fine detailing," continued UNStudio.
"Both projects however, are inspired by fabric and couture clothing, involve a high degree of craftsmanship, and present different ways to approach 'standing out while fitting in'."
Above the store are three apartments on the first and second floors, which have a brickwork facade similar to that of a traditional Dutch townhouse. The apartments are entered from a door that is made from the same stainless steel bricks, but with an opaque glass inlay.
UNStudio is an Amsterdam-based architecture practice established by Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos in 1988. It is currently creating the "smartest neighbourhood in the world" in the south of the Netherlands and is masterplanning a smart city in Bangalore.
Photos courtesy of Evabloem.
UNStudio team: Ben van Berkel, Astrid Piber with Ger Gijzen, Marc Salemink, Sontaya Bluangtook and Pauline Caubel, Daniele de Benedictis, Chao Liu, Yang Li