Amsterdam shopping street PC Hooftstraat will become home to a unique new building this autumn. One of its shops is to be given a façade built of glass bricks. ‘Interior walls made of glass bricks are quite common,’ says Dr Fred Veer, materials researcher at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment. But for a load-bearing wall, the requirements are a lot higher in terms of dimensions and the mortar used. ‘This wall could support a herd of elephants,’ says Veer, ‘and it can withstand an attack with a sledgehammer.’ The façade will measure 10 metres by 10 metres when finished and will be 23 centimetres thick – all solid glass. TU Delft is working on this project with architects firm MRVDV from Rotterdam and the Poesia glass factory in Venice.