Crystal Houses, Amsterdam

Crystal Houses, Amsterdam


Designed to house a flagship store on PC Hooftstraat – Amsterdam’s luxury brand street, which used to be mainly residential –, this building replaces two traditional houses, transforming their volume to increase the interior space and adapt it to retail purposes. The new design mimics the original composition, but pursues a more current image by using glass extensively as a contemporary reproduction technique. In this way, the new facade is a formal and material adaptation of the original version. Since the built volume is modified to comply with regulations, the facade is stretched to maintain the composition of the original elements. Furthermore, the glass is layered just like bricks, so though the material quality changes, the building process is similar. The solid glass bricks stretch up the facade, gradually dissolving into a traditional terracotta brick envelope, making the lower floors visually permeable and protecting the upper ones that contain apartments. To obtain maximum transparency, the Delft University of Technology and the contractors developed a high-strength, UV-bonded, transparent adhesive to cement the bricks together without the need for a more traditional mortar.

Obra Work

Crystal Houses

Cliente Client

Warenar Real Estate

Arquitectos Architects

MVRDV / Gietermans & Van Dijk

Colaboradores Collaborators

Winy Maas with Gijs Rikken, Mick van Gemert, Marco Gazzola, Renske van der Stoep and Antonio Luca Coco (MVRDV); Wim Gietermans, Arjan Bakker, Tu?rul Avuçlu (Gietermans & Van Dijk)

Consultores Consultants

Poesia (ladrillos de vidrio glass brick manufacturers); Siko (importador de pegamento Delo importer of Delo glue); Delft University of Technology (investigación research); CIID (infografías visualizations)

Contratista Contractor

Wessels Zeist; Brouwer & Kok / ABT (constructor constructor)

Superficie construida Built-up area

620 m² (comercio retail) + 220 m² (vivienda housing)

Fotos Photos

Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee; TU Delft; MVRDV