Crystal Houses by MVRDV

PROJECT Crystal Houses
ARCHITECT MVRDV
LOCATION Amsterdam, the Netherlands
YEAR 2016
PHOTO Daria Scagliola & Stijn Brakkee
Author: Claudia Saglimbeni

The PC Hooftstraat is one of the most elegant streets in Amsterdam and has been chosen by the French Chanel fashion house as the home for its main flagship store.
Since its completion in 2016, Crystal Houses has become one of the most intriguing attractions for passers-by and tourists who are amazed at the theatrical design created by the lively inspiration of Dutch firm MVRDV.

Crystal Houses redefines the relationship with the urban dimension overlooking the street by giving the passer-by an unusual perception of perspective that goes beyond the impenetrable curtain of the typical exposed brickwork through the use of innovative glass bricks in a 65x105x210 format.
The transparency of the pedestrian façade deliberately reveals the ambiguous nature of the intervention in which the permeability between inside and outside suggested by the glass is weakened by the seductive fascination aroused by the main facade, in front of which tourists patiently wait their turn to grab a perfect selfie against the perfect backdrop.

BIOGRAPHY
MVRDV WAS FOUNDED IN 1993 BY WINY MAAS, JACOB VAN RIJS AND NATHALIE DE VRIES IN ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS. THE PRACTICE ENGAGES GLOBALLY IN PROVIDING SOLUTIONS TO CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURAL AND URBAN ISSUES. A HIGHLY COLLABORATIVE, RESEARCH-BASED DESIGN METHOD INVOLVES CLIENTS, STAKEHOLDERS AND EXPERTS FROM A WIDE RANGE OF FIELDS FROM EARLY ON IN THE CREATIVE PROCESS.

MAIN PROJECTS
Depot Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands, ongoing
Seoul Skygarden, Seoul, South Korea, 2017
Markthal, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2014
Book Mountain Library, Spijkenisse, Netherlands, 2012
Didden Village, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2006
EXPO2000 Netherlands Pavilion, Hanover, Germany, 2000
Villa VPRO, Hilversum, Netherlands, 1997