Last month, Chanel opened the doors of their breathtaking new store, located on PC Hooftstraat. This luxury hub in Amsterdam is also home to fellow houses such as Prada and Dior.
As a tribute to the historical architecture, Dutch firm MVRDV rebuilt the entire façade of the pre-existing townhouse in solid glass bricks.
“Crystal Houses make space for a remarkable flagship store, respect the structure of the surroundings and bring a poetic innovation in glass construction.” – Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV
This pioneering technology was developed in collaboration with engineers ABT and Delft University of Technology. MVRDV say that the project is “a starting point for using glass in construction” and that the material is “in many ways, stronger than concrete”.
Higher up the glass façade is merged with the original terracotta brick to create the illusion of a dissolving wall. “We said [to Chanel], ‘Let’s bring back what will be demolished but develop it further”, discusses Maas. The architects believe that this new technology offers a compromise on the loss of local character in many major cities around the world, whose streets are now dominated by plain glass shop fronts.
Watch the video below to learn more about the build and to take an up close look at the finished product: