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Studio RAP 3D prints algorithmically-designed storefront

The facade of the boutique, located on Amsterdam’s P.C. Hooftstraat, is composed of glazed, 3D printed ceramic tiles

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Studio RAP, an architectural design company that combines the power of computational design with innovative digital fabrication methods (such as 3D printing), has designed and started the production of the facade cladding of an attention-grabbing boutique in Amsterdam’s most luxurious shopping street, the P.C. Hooftstraat. The facade is composed of glazed, 3D printed ceramic tiles, and is expected to be completed soon.

By fusing the advanced methods of ceramic 3D printing, algorithmic design, and artisanal glazing, Studio Rap is well-positioned to realize the full architectural potential of ceramic and ornamental design. The algorithmic ornaments on the facade refer to the craft of knitting garments – resulting in an unusual and exciting design language.

Artisanal glazing

The 4.5m high plinth consists of three columns and an architrave. The shopping window is pushed back – creating a deep reveal. At street level, the facade is cladded in large 3D printed ceramic tiles of approximately 40 x 20cm in size, glazed in pearl white, with a subtle shade of yellow. The ornamented tiles start out plain at ground level and become more expressive higher up.

The facade of the higher floors is composed of 3D printed bricks, which have been glazed in three different shades of red. The bricks are composed alongside the original masonry cross bond and have abstract ornamentation. These bricks are glued into laser-cut stainless steel cassettes – referring to the original flushes.

Algorithmic design

Using digital design algorithms, which were produced in-house, Studio RAP explores a reinterpretation of the decorative qualities and design vocabulary of glazed ceramics in the historical city of Amsterdam. The design replicates the silhouette of the original facade – continuing the characteristic tripartite of the street and maintaining the overall character of the site. The scale, size, type, and colour of the ornaments and materials are synced with the neighbouring buildings.

3D clay printing

According to Studio RAP, the design aims to inspire people around the world with a contemporary expression of digital craftsmanship – reinterpreting historical classics in new and exciting ways. The facade also refers to the collection of the nearby Rijksmuseum, where a large collection of ceramics from all over the world is stored. The highly differentiated and algorithmically designed details are realized using Studio RAP’s large scale 3D printing technology, which is also produced in-house at the architecture firm.

The client for this project is Warenar Real Estate, the co-architect is Gietermans & Van Dijk, the main contractor is Wessels Zeist (VolkerWessels), the visuals were created by Virginlemon, and the firing and glazing of the ceramic tiles was done by Royal Tichelaar.

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Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

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