Crystal Houses reopens in Amsterdam

Dutch design practice, MVRDV has reopened their project, Crystal Houses, this time with a new tenant and façade. Originally constructed in 2016 for luxury fashion label Chanel, now it adds another luxury label, Hermès as tenant of the iconic shop front.

The usual brick finish was replaced by a glass replica of the building material, which dissolves into the traditional terracotta bricks on the upper levels. It is located in Amsterdam on the high-end shopping street, PC Hooftstraat.


The project’s jewel-like front was originally proposed as a way for Amsterdam to be home to distinctive, upmarket flagships without compromising the city’s historical character.

The project was created for Amsterdam-based retail and real-estate company, Warenar, envisioned originally as a re-creation of the traditional buildings that make up the existing urban fabric of the area.

To replace the traditional bricks, MVRDV worked with TU Delft, engineering firm ABT and contractor, Wessels Zeist. The materials were provided by glass manufacturer Poesia and Delo Industrial Adhesives. The enormous and intense research behind the project culminated in a shopfront that combines the transparency and delicacy of a glass retail frontage with the intricate complexity of traditional brick constructions.

For more information please visit MVRDV

Images by Daria Scagliola and Stijn Brakkee via of ArchDaily

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