Dutch architecture firm MVRDV completed the townhouse’s partially see-through facade back in 2016, using hundreds of specially-engineered glass bricks and a transparent high-strength glue .
Named Crystal Houses, the building is nestled amongst a parade of stores of popular Amsterdam shopping street Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat.
The overhaul of the store’s interiors by Paris-based agency RDAI has seen the removal of a blank wall from behind the upper half of the facade.
This means that passers-by on the street can now more clearly see the glass elements subtly merging with townhouse’s terracotta brickwork, which is meant to give the illusion of a dissolving wall.
MVRDV says the facade is “finally as open as originally intended”.
“With the upper floor open, you now sense even more clearly the transparency of the facade,” the firm’s founder, Winy Maas, told Dezeen.
“Before, the glass bricks enabled a visual connection between the street and the ground floor of the store, so you could see people moving on the other side of the brick wall. Now, that connection includes the first floor too, and the facade is twice as dynamic.”
On the inside of the store, mosaic floors feature a geometric pattern inspired by a motif seen in the Hermès branch on Rue du Fauborg Saint-Honoré in Paris.
Mens and womens accessories are presented on chunky wooden plinths, while the brand’s signature silk scarves hang from full-height gridded frames.
Towards the rear of the space is a carpeted area where a few ready-to-wear clothing pieces are displayed alongside shoes.
A curved, dark-wood staircase with a red-leather bannister leads up to the first floor, which is dedicated to homeware and precious goods like watches and jewellery.
The warm brown and caramel hues that have been applied throughout the store are also meant to be a nod to the colour palette of Amsterdam’s architectural landscape.
RDAI is in charge of the design of Hermès retail spaces across the globe. In 2010 it constructed a store for the brand inside a 1930s swimming pool , where collections were displayed within nine-metre-high wooden pavilions.
Hermès has previously also worked with Apple to produce a line of high-end leather straps for the Apple Watch and Studio Toogood to create a blood-red installation for its London flagship .
Photography is by Daria Scagliola and Stijn Brakkee unless stated otherwise.
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