Stainless steel brick facade for Amsterdam shopping street
Amsterdam-based UNStudio has designed the P.C. Hooftstraat 140-14, which was to create a distinctive shopfront experience on one of Amsterdam’s best-known streets.
Textured and transparent, laced and illuminated, the brick pixelation façade at the P.C. Hooftstraat 140-142 embodies the intricate, crafted details epitomized by couture clothing. Cast stainless steel bricks with glass inlays pixelate together along this partially transparent façade.
The façade design uses cast stainless steel as its main material, and the traditional Amsterdam town house as its frame. While the finished result is sensitively subtle, much experimentation was undertaken to find the correct brick size, transparency and lighting components that could create the appropriate effect on the surroundings. Although the overall sizes are the same as typical bricks, the steel bricks have a refined and intricately detailed appearance by tapering and softening the edges, with manually glued glass inlays.
The stainless steel bricks are cast in different sizes, following a similar pattern to the traditional brick facade on the upper levels. The individual stainless steel bricks are precisely mounted onto larger steel frames and then installed on site. Operable glass windows behind the steel brick façade allow for maintenance and cleaning.
The entrance door is composed of the same stainless steel bricks, but with an opaque glass inlay, ensuring privacy in the apartment entrance area. A stainless steel door handle and doorbell are also custom designed to integrate into the overall façade appearance.
This façade renovation brought two separate buildings together to become one retail space, making The Brick Pixelation one of the largest retail spaces along the P.C. Hooftstraat, a place famous for its high-end boutiques and design shops.