Glass panels designed by UNStudio mimic billowing cloth at a clothing store in Amsterdam



UNStudio has completed the renovation of the facade of PC Hooftstraat 138 in Amsterdam, for a clothing store. The street  is in the heart of the Museum Quarter, between Museumplein and Vondelpark, and the practice took cues from the nearby museums in considering how to frame the clothes on display in the shop. Its design for The Looking Glass celebrates textiles, in form and function. Three curved glass panels flow down from the upper floors in a manner that mimics billowing transparent cloth, to create spaces at pavement level that unveil the latest fashions.

The facade design still remains true to the three-windowed vertical division of an Amsterdam town house. UN Studio has also designed the interior of the two-storey apartment above the retail space.


The ground and the first floors are visually linked by the structural glass elements flanked by brickwork. The undulating ‘boxes’ were factory-assembled and mounted on site. Large laminated low-iron annealed glass panels, both curved and straight, are bonded with structural silicone in 8mm wide seams to polished stainless steel edge profiles between the panes. The seams allow for any tolerances in the curved glass that might occur during the manufacturing process, while the steel profile protects the glass edges from damage. Each glass box was bonded to a concealed steel frame for shipping and protection, before being installed as a single unit on site.

Following installation, a layer of rigid insulation was fixed to each GRC panel that forms the support for the brickwork, and brick slips glued to the insulation. Metal strips between the rows of slips on the ground floor create a subtle differentiation with the rest of the brickwork and comply with city regulations.

Additional Images