Crystal Houses Amsterdam – glass wall
Crystal Houses Amsterdam - titel

Crystal Houses

MVRDV

Amsterdam, PC Hooftstraat 94

2016

Crystal Houses Amsterdam - gevel Hermes

Crystal Houses

In the luxury shopping street PC Hooftstraat there has been a remarkable facade for several years. I myself have walked through it several times, but had not yet studied this facade in detail (shame on me). So this building was on the list to take a closer look on our last trip to Amsterdam.

Crystal Houses Amsterdam - detail glazen gevel

Glass + Brick

The assignment for architectural firm MVRDV (known for the Markthal in Rotterdam and Gemini in Copenhagen) was to combine a retail space and apartments with respect for the Dutch heritage. According to the aesthetic rules of the city, the apartments must have a brick facade, but the shop facade prefer as much glass as possible. That is why MVRDV came up with the solution of glass blocks, with the same dimensions as the bricks, so that they continue the original subdivision.
Crystal Houses Amsterdam - detail glazen gevel naar baksteen

Technique

MVRDV collaborated with Poesia to manufacture the glass blocks. They have their company near Venice, known for the glass manufactaries. Research for the techniques was carried out by TU Delft. They came out with a transparent adhesive that hardens with UV light. For a year, 6 to 10 experts worked on the technology for this facade every day. Despite the fragile appearance, the glass beams above the windows are very strong. For example, one of these beams can handle 42kN, which is 4200 kilograms or 4.2 tons.

The facade materials are also fully recyclable. Furthermore, the building is heated with a heat pump, using ground heat. There are pipes that go to a depth of 170 meters.

Crystal Houses Amsterdam - detail raamkader in glazen blokken
Crystal Houses Amsterdam - glazen baksteen met vermelding architecten

Architectural tours in Antwerp

Map Architecture in Antwerp

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Book about architecture in Antwerp available in the webshop

Crystal Houses Amsterdam

 

MVRDV

Amsterdam, PC Hooftstraat 94

2016

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