Project | UNStudio
Programme | Renovation of Department Store C&A
Client | Redevco B.V
Location | 18 Septemberplein, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
“As ‘the City of Light’, Eindhoven is the perfect place for innovation. The use of glass in the C&A building not only creates a light construction, but it adds variation of depth to the otherwise flush plane of this historic facade. During daytime, the glass boxes act as ‘eyes’ to the public square, allowing the building to interact and communicate with the public, while at night the animated light installations suggest that the building is breathing as it illuminates the square.” – Ben van Berkel
An experience of light
Reflectivity and sheen are added to the facade through the ambitious construction of four large glass structures. At 5.5 meters wide, 7 meters high and weighing 3000kg each, these illuminated windows appear to float on the surface of the monumental facade. This effect was achieved through a close collaboration between ABT, Si-X and UNStudio, which resulted in the creation of interlocking and glued connections that form an ‘invisible’ support and mounting system.
This type and scale of glass facade construction has never before been realised in the Netherlands. In order to make the glued construction possible at such a large scale, the team undertook one a half years of extensive research – and of trial and error – before finally finding a solution that could provide the level of craftsmanship and engineering precision required.
Angled at 10 degrees to maximise visual connections at street level, the glass structures are illuminated by LED lighting – designed by the Dutch artist Arnout Meijer – which is reflected and diffused by a thin film on the inside of the glass. Optical effects created by this film form patterns of light, which appear to alter as people move across the square. As such, the original design motif of protruding glass windows is used to emphasise the heritage of the C&A Store, whilst strongly identifying it with The City of Light.
UNStudio: Ben van Berkel, Gerard Loozekoot with Filippo Lodi, Jacques van Wijk and Alexander Kalachev Hans Kooij, Atira Ariffin, Emma Whitehead, Erwin Horstmanshof, Gys le Roux, Nanang Santoso, Pietro Scarpa, Harlen Miller
Project management | bbn adviseurs, Houten
Structure | SWINN, Gouda
Installations | W4Y adviseurs, Harderwijk
Architecture | Van Manen, Noordwijk
Glass structures | ABT, Delft
Light design glassboxes | Arnout Meijer Studio, Amsterdam
Photo credits | © Evabloem
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