> Kintsugi Glass & Concrete Façade
Cast glass, Kintsugi, Structural glass, Concrete panels, Glass panels.
Dr. F. Oikonomopoulou, T. Bristogianni, L. Barou, Dr. F. Veer, Prof. R. Nijsse
The design concept behind this project, conceived by MVRDV, is to interpret the art of kintsugi (golden repair) in the façade of the Bvlgari store in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Kintsugi is a pottery repair method that honors the artifact’s unique history by emphasizing, not hiding, the break. Similarly, transparent veins that allow gold light to illuminate a concrete façade, referring to the iconic cornice of Bulgari’s via Condotti store in Rome.
TU Delft was commissioned to conduct a feasibility study on constructing this façade utilizing glass and concrete. We developed numerous different visual prototypes, exploring the use of both float and cast glass, addressing as well the degree of mechanical collaboration between the two materials. The most promising and visually attractive option was the use of load-bearing cast glass tiles filled with concrete.
Even though this system had great potential, unfortunately, due to a tight construction timeframe that could not accommodate the required research and material testing, it was determined to abort the use of cast glass for the final façade. Instead, the final façade was made using Glass Reinforced Concrete (GRC) cut according to a pattern, filled with resin and illuminated by amber LED Lights. A stainless steel sheet acts as a base for the resin, with panel joints concealed and integrated into the vein pattern.