The Rainbow Connection

A collaboration between UN Studio and two manufacturers results in a dazzling color changing glass facade.

In designing a new office complex in Almere, the Netherlands, architecture firm UN Studio toyed with the idea that they wanted to connect the building to the idea of work. They began testing different types of surface treatments and coatings, such as double-coated paints, which resulted in a dimpled effect of colors on the facade. The studio eventually discovered a discontinued 3M foil which was a dual-film solution. The product was originally marketed as a film that would change color when viewed from different angles and in different lights.

After testing the foil in different light conditions, UN Studio found that the color changed a lot at different positions depending where you stood. The firm spent almost three years researching the material application and getting an approval rating on the wear and maintenance of the foils. Working in collaboration with a glass manufacturer and 3M, UN Studio came up with this very specific product that combines the two foils and a very particular pixelated translucent glass.

“The most important effect is that this double foil is really like walking into a painting or a digital photograph” explains Ben van Berkel, who is currently patenting the idea. “We don’t give names to our buildings, so we have not given a name to this material,” he says. UN Studio also used the material in its recently completed Galleria Fashion Store in Seoul, South Korea. Van Berkel sees that material being used not only for building exteriors and interiors but potentially as a surface for furniture.


Color-Changing Pixelated Glass Facade

A color-changing film that is bonded between pixelated translucent glass resulting in an intense and dazzling color facade

Exterior, interior, or furniture surfaces.

Color-changing, brilliant, shiny, reflective.

UN Studio
Stadhouderskade 113
1073 AX Amsterdam

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