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“People who live in Glass Houses should not throw stones” a well used phrase that suddenly has real meaning in the town of Schijndel in Holland. Local architect Winy Maas has been campaigning since the 1980s to replace a structure destroyed during the Second World War in a space situated between the church and the town hall

Now, after thirty years and six failed proposals a radical new building enveloped completely in glass has been developed on the site. Constructed around a steel frame which itself mimics the shape of a traditional farmhouse the building which has a floor area of 1600m2 contains shops, restaurants, offices and a wellness centre

How was it done, the image was printed using a “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.

It all sounds clever and sophisticated and the building at first glance (from a distance) looks the part, that is until you realise that it is not to scale and just to add further to the confusion, the actual door and window openings do not match with the real door and window openings resulting in the occasional mishap.

Although debate still rages over who was first with the concept of “the Glass House” as there are other contenders who have staked a claim, does it really matter, its bright and new and it makes us smile, which has to be better for the human spirit than the majority of shapeless concrete blocks that grace so many of our city centres, but you had better be careful if you ever visit Schijndel and decide to throw a few bricks around. see more of the glass house