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Maison Hermès

Maison Hermès

The greatest contribution to glass block architecture made in the world to date.

Made by Renzo Piano

Inaugurated in 2001, the Maison Hermès, designed by Renzo Piano, stands tall in the center of the Ginza District of Toyko with a building surface of 6,000 square meters distributed through 15 floors. The 13,000 self-supporting glass blocks that make up the Maison Hermès reflect the sun light during the day and illuminate the internal light at night.

Nicknamed for its brilliance and luminous effects, the Maison Hermès has been called a “magic latern” of glass blocks.

In 2006, the south wing of the Maison Hermès was widened by 360 square meters with the same glass blocks as the main building, seamlessly blending together the old with the new to maintain perfect symmetry with the small “central plaza”.
Now, the light from “le café” and the “les 24 saisons” plays upon the glass blocks, illumintating their effects and bringing out the various families of Hermès products in stunning, new ways.
The glass block continues to develop its aesthetic and technological function as it interplays with the building’s interior and exterior walls, transmitting all the lightness, transparency and brightness that only a magic lantern can display.

Seves glassblock has brought a new quality standard to glass block production as a result of its involvement in Renzo Piano’s project for the Maison Hermès in Tokyo.
In fact, it is no coincidence that in order to meet the challenges of building the Japanese Hermès venue, Renzo Piano – famous for his lightweight constructions and use of materials with creative simplicity – found in Seves glassblock a valid partner, able to help him achieve his ambitious objective to create a magic lantern to accommodate the Hermès “mega store”: 13,000 glass blocks, 45 meters high, 15 floors, in the center of the Ginza district of Tokyo.

The only company in the world willing and able to take up this difficult but exciting challenge, and trust in its ability to create new, innovative production processes as well as glass blocks wasSeves glassblock which created a new experimental type of glass block for the Piano/Hermès project, with truly unique features:

  • the Hermès block, with its extraordinary dimensions, 42.8cm x 42.8cm x 12cm
  • a glass block with a curved, external face and smooth, internal surface ideal for buildings designed entirely of glass; this block is 1/4 the dimension of the Hermès block.

The Hermès block is not only a tangible expression of the remarkable glassmaking production with which Seves glassblock has abundantly surpassed current technological production limits, but also a symbol of architectural excellence.

In fact, apart from its extraordinary dimensions, two additional solutions have been used for the Hermès block:

  • more prominent edging, making it possible to improve the positioning of adjacent blocks;
  • the visual effect obtained means that the metallic supporting structures are hidden, thus reducing the “gap” between the blocks;
  • painted metallic sections marking the edges of the block;
  • an elegant and sophisticated detail which accentuates the luminous reflection of the Hermès building.
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