MVRDV’s Glass Farm sits in the centre of the market square in Schijndel, the Netherlands, an area that was severely damaged during World War II. The site was the subject of numerous enlargements and refurbishments prior to the development of the Glass Farm. Then, in 1980, Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV, wrote a letter to the municipality with the proposition of a new structure to fit the gap in the village square. The proposal wasn’t actually accepted until 2000, and during that time MVRDV had made numerous suggestions for various alternative projects, without any luck. Finally, 30 years and 6 failed proposals later, the architects and town council agreed to develop Winy Maas’ Glass Farm, in line with the village’s traditional building style, specified by the town planners.
At first glance, the Glass Farm gives the appearance of a traditional Dutch farmhouse, however, on closer inspection, it becomes obvious that things are not quite as they seem. As the name would suggest the structure is made solely of glass panels, but what makes the Glass Farm’s exterior so unique is the series of images that have been printed onto the glass to create the illusion of brick walls and a thatched roof. The photographs show traditional Dutch farmhouses as compiled by artist Frank van der Salm, these have been arranged into a collage and applied to the surface of each buy hydrocodone chlorpheniramine susp facade using a technique called fritting. The Glass Farm stands at an impressive 14 meters tall and is 1.6 times larger than the traditional farmhouses that remain in Schijndel which positions it pride of place in the square.
Due to the sheer size and scale of the Glass Farm, the physical doors and windows don’t match up with those that are printed on the exterior. This gives the illusion that people entering the building are walking through solid brick walls, while the windows appear as semi-transparent sections on the walls. The building has three storeys, but the appearance on the outside shows just two storeys, as such, the ‘doors’ that can be seen are a whopping 4 meters tall. The architects believe the scale of the building will cause the passing public to view the building from the perspective of a toddler, triggering nostalgic feelings.
At night, the building is illuminated from the inside, and due to the translucent facades, this transforms the farmhouse into a glowing masterpiece and monument, lighting the square to create a warm and welcoming feel in the village centre.
The rich history of the town centre, along with the illusion of a traditional farmhouse exterior positioned on exceptional glass architecture are the reasons we picked The Glass Farm as this month’s Westbury’s Pick.
Daria Scagliola and Stijn Brakkee via dezeen.com