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Look again: MVRDV reimagines traditional Dutch farmhouse in glass

MVRDV has completed this 1,600m² glass building in the Dutch town of Schijndel with an impressive trompe l’oeil facade

The building contains shops, offices, restaurants and a wellness centre sits on the town’s village square.

The entirely glass façade of the building is made up of a collage of typical local farm buildings printed on to the glass at six times their actual size.

Working with MVRDV, artist Frank van der Salm photographed all the remaining traditional farms in the local area, and from these an image of the typical farm was composed. This image was printed using a fritted procedure onto the glass façade.

The architects said this concept ‘could be seen as a contemporary response to retro-architecture whilst respecting the public’s wish for vernacular authenticity’.

MVRDV farm house

Source: MVRDV

The market square had been through numerous enlargements and refurbishments after suffering damage during the Second World War. The home town of MDVRV’s founder Winy Maas, the practice have been involved in suggestions for the development of the square for over 20 years.

MVRDV proposed numerous new options that could fill the gap of the unusually large village square. The Glass Farm is MVRDV’s seventh proposal for the site, earlier designs included a theatre.

The maximum envelope allowed by the planners had the form of a traditional Schijndel farm. Historical local farms were measured and analysed to inform the conceptual design. At a height of 14 metres the glass farm is ‘intentionally designed out of scale’ and is 1.6 times larger than a real farm, whch the architects said ‘symbolises the village growing into a town’.

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