As the architect’s web page crudely puts it, after Operation Market Garden in World War II the Dutch town of Schijndel in North Brabant was left with an ‘oversized’ market place.
MVRDV’s founder Winy Maas had been lobbying town hall to do something useful with all that space, and after his seventh attempt, he finally got his wish. On 17 January the building of the glass farm on the Markt in Schijndel was completed. The building is made to look like an oversized farm (scale 1.6:1) and is made entirely out of glass, on which a texture has been printed.
The building with a total surface area of 1600 m2 contains shops, restaurants, offices and a wellness centre. The exterior is printed glass with a collage of typical local farms; a monument to the past but 1.6 times larger than life.
In collaboration with MVRDV, artist Frank van der Salm photographed all the remaining traditional farms, and from these an image of the typical farm was composed. This image was printed using fritted procedure onto the 1800m2 glass facade, resulting in an effect such as a stained glass window in a cathedral. The print is more or less translucent depending on the need for light and views.
The print lets in light from outside during the daytime and the building is illuminated from the inside during the night.
This is what the square looked like in October 2010 according to Google:
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