Located in Schijndel, Netherlands, Glass Farm is designed by architecture firm MVRDV for Rembrand bv. The company also has office in Shanghai, China. The project, Glass Farm, is currently under construction. Completion scheduled for December 2012. Architectural plan includes retail, offices, restaurant, wellness center. Schijndels market square suffered from Operation Market Garden bombings in the Second World War and has been subject to numerous enlargements and refurbishments. Winy Maas wrote a letter in 1980, and in 2000 the city council adopted the idea of a new structure in the square between the church, town hall and main street. MVRDV since then iteratively proposed new options that could fill the gap of this unusually large village square. The Glass Farm is MVRDVs seventh proposal for the site.
The village engaged vividly in the process resulting in heated debates, polls and polemics in the local press – by supporters and adversaries. The 1600m² building which is entirely covered by a glass facade will consist primarily of a series of public amenities such as restaurants, shops and a wellness centre. By coincidence, the maximum envelope that was defined by the town planners had the form of a traditional Schijndel farm. In collaboration with MVRDV, artist Frank van der Salm photographed all the remaining traditional farms, and from these composed an image of the typical farm. This image will be printed using fritted procedure onto the 1800m2 glass facade, resulting in an effect such as a stained glass window in a cathedral. The print will be more or less translucent depending on need for light and views.
At night the structure will be illuminated from the inside, becoming a monument to the farm. 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. The printed image follows this augmentation, with the superimposed farm door for example appearing 4 metres tall. When adults interact with the building, they can experience child size again, possibly adding an element of nostalgic remembrance to their reception of the building. To enhance this further, there will be a table and swing next to the building, a scaled up farmyard. Advisors of MVRDV’s Glass Farm project are Structure: Hooijen Konstruktiebureau, Installations: IOC Ridderkerk, Facade: Brakel Atmos, Glass: AGC. Credits: Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries with Frans de Witte and Gijs Rikken