Glass Farm – Holland
An All-Glass Exterior Creates a Historic Installation with a Clear Future
The Glass Farm, located in the market square of the Dutch town Schijndel, is a modern project inspired by old local farms. To construct this unique building all the remaining historical farms in the area were photographed, measured, and analyzed. From the images and data collected, the architects of MVRDV began to piece together the project’s image and shape. The results were then printed on different size panels, using digital ceramic frit glass printing technology, culminating in an 1,800 sqm glass façade. A particularly intricate endeavor, the photorealism, scaling, solar control, shading, transparency, material imitation, cultural identity, and context were all carefully considered. The designers played with the levels of translucency according to the need for light and views throughout the structure, customizing the panels for each section. The completed Glass Farm stands at 14 meters (46 feet) high and is 1.6 times larger than a real farm, symbolizing the original village’s growth into a town.
Perfectly Customized Panels Ensure the Right View
The Glass Farm is a mixed-use project, hosting office, commercial and recreational spaces within the structure. Many different elements were taken into account to create a realistic exterior, with different layers used to create these effects. Layers of information were printed on the glass including a brick texture imitation layer; a printed windows and door layer contributes to the scaling effect; and a playful atmosphere layer, with small historic references and environment details breathes life into the installation. One such playful element the designers added was superimposing a four-meter (13 foot) high farm door, to give adults the nostalgic feeling of being a small child again. In addition, a transparency and solar heat gain control layer, in which the printed windows are not the actual “windows” of the building, helps maintain more efficient climate control, while keeping the exterior looking authentic.
Photographer:Jeroen Musch, MVRDV,
Persbureau van Eijndhoven
Printed Area:1,800 sqm / 19,375 sqf
Number of Panels:5,000
Glass Type:Insulated Glass