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UNStudio creates brick textured facade for a retail store in Amsterdam

Netherlands Architecture News - Apr 06, 2020 - 10:27   10696 views

UNStudio creates brick textured facade for a retail store in Amsterdam

UNStudio has renovated a retail store with brick textured facade in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Called The P.C. Hooftstraat 140-142, the textured, transparent, laced and illuminated, facade at the P.C. Hooftstraat 140-142 embodies the intricate, crafted details epitomised by couture clothing. 

Cast stainless steel bricks with glass inlays pixelate together along this partially transparent facade to create a distinctive shopfront experience on one of Amsterdam’s best-known streets.

UNStudio creates brick textured facade for a retail store in Amsterdam

The P.C. Hooftstraat is famous for its high-end boutiques and design shops, situated between the Museum Quarter, the Vondel Park and the Oud-Zuid neighborhood. 

Shops along this street are a testament to Dutch design, creativity, high-end clothing and art. UNStudio’s renovation brought two separate buildings together to become one retail space, making The Brick Pixelation one of the largest retail spaces along the P.C. Hooftstraat.

UNStudio creates brick textured facade for a retail store in Amsterdam

Located next to its architectural cousin, The Looking Glass - also designed by UNStudio, the facade design uses cast stainless steel as its main material, and the traditional Amsterdam town house as its frame. Comparatively, this building expresses a more detail-oriented interpretation of textiles.

While the facade is made of custom casted stainless steel bricks with glass inlays at pedestrian level, it transitions across the second floor back to the anthracite brickwork of a traditional Dutch townhouse. As such, this veil of stainless steel bricks can be experienced differently from relational distances, while keeping in step with the architectural heritage of Amsterdam.

UNStudio creates brick textured facade for a retail store in Amsterdam

"These neighbouring facade projects that we have designed for the P.C. Hooftstraat are principally concerned with contrasting and crafting the detail through scale and materiality," said Ben van Berkel, founding partner of UNStudio. 

"The design of the facade for 140-142 intentionally employs a more sober scale of detailing to its neighbour. At 140-142, steel bricks inlayed with glass are crafted to refine and compose the details, creating a contemporary interpretation of the traditional bricks found in Dutch townhouses." 

"And while the windows of 138 span multiple floors and protrude outwards, those of 140-142 slant inwards and are brought back to the townhouse scale on the second floor," added Ben van Berkel. 

UNStudio creates brick textured facade for a retail store in Amsterdam

While the finished result is sensitively subtle, much experimentation was undertaken to find the correct brick size, transparency and lighting components that could create the appropriate effect on the surroundings. 

Although the overall sizes of the stainless steel bricks are the same as typical bricks, by tapering and softening the edges, the stainless steel bricks have a refined and intricately detailed appearance, with manually glued glass inlays.

UNStudio creates brick textured facade for a retail store in Amsterdam

The stainless steel bricks are cast in different sizes, following a similar pattern to the traditional brick facade on the upper levels. The individual stainless steel bricks are precisely mounted onto larger steel frames, then installed on site. Operable glass windows behind the steel brick facade allow for maintenance and cleaning.

UNStudio creates brick textured facade for a retail store in Amsterdam

The residential entrance door is composed of the same stainless steel bricks, but with an opaque glass inlay, ensuring privacy in the apartment entrance area. The stainless steel door handle and doorbell are also custom designed to integrate into the overall facade appearance.

UNStudio creates brick textured facade for a retail store in Amsterdam

The white steel window frames continue into the interior. Slanting the glass panels emphasises the dynamic of the white frames, a detail which is also continued in the smaller first floor windows.

UNStudio creates brick textured facade for a retail store in Amsterdam

UNStudio creates brick textured facade for a retail store in Amsterdam

Recently, UNStudio has completed the renovation of a retail store in Eindhoven by adding light-filled glass 3D elements to the façade. 

Project facts

Project name: P.C. Hooftstraat 140-142

Client: Overvast b.v.                  

Location: P.C. Hooftstraat 140-142, Amsterdam, Netherlands                  

Building surface: 390m2                                    

Programme: Facade design: Concept Design – Construction supervision                        

Status: completed

UNStudio: Ben van Berkel, Astrid Piber with Ger Gijzen, Marc Salemink, Sontaya Bluangtook and Pauline Caubel, Daniele de Benedictis, Chao Liu, Yang Li

Advisors:

Executive Architect: Architectenburo Dik Smeding BV

Facade Engineer: ARUP

Main contractor: Jan Vet b.v.

All images © Evabloem

All drawings © UNStudio

> via UNStudio