A façade mimicking a billowing transparent cloth

Dutch architectural studio UNStudio completed the renovation of the façade of P.C. Hooftstraat 138 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, mimicking a billowing transparent cloth by making use of curved glass panels.

According to the studio, “the facade of P.C. Hooftstraat 138 is a celebration of textiles, both in form and function”. Three curved glass panels flow down from the upper floors in a way that mimics the billowing of cloth.

The large glass panels, laminated and low iron, form glass boxes, surrounded by brickwork. The panels are bonded with structural silicone to the adjacent glass panels with stainless steel edge profiles in between. The ‘box elements’ were assembled in a factory and installed as a single unit on site.

After the installation, a rigid insulation was added on top of a GRC panel. Brick slips were then glued onto the insulation later. Between the slips anon the ground floor level, a metal strip was added to create slight differentiation from the rest of the brickwork and to meet urban requirements.

8mm wide silicon seams between the polished stainless steel edge profiles and the glass panels allow for any tolerances in the curved glass that might occur during the manufacturing process, while the steel profile protects the glass edges from damage and absorbs the transformation in geometries.

“In a fluid gesture, fashion and architecture come together to represent and celebrate the craftsmanship and geometry of high-end, tailored clothing, creating harmony between aesthetics and function,” UNStudio states in their press release. “All this, while keeping true to the original design of the three-windowed vertical division of an Amsterdam town house, where on the upper floors above the retail section, a bespoke apartment design will carry high-end architecture through the entire building.”

UNStudio: Ben van Berkel, Astrid Piber with Ger Gijzen, Marc Salemink, Sontaya Bluangtook and Lars van Hoften, Pauline Caubel, Paul Challis, Tiia Vahula

Facade engineer: ARUP
Structural engineer: Brouwer en Kok
Executive architect for main construction: Gietermans & Van Dijk Architecten B.V.
Main contractor: Wessels Zeist b.v.
Facade contractor: Octatube Nederland b.v.

Photos: © Evabloem