The new "John Lewis" department store in the British town of Leicester is covered with a dazzling, lace-like curtain that at night is backlit in 256 colours. It is actually a double facade of structural glazing with a very elaborate patterning. With the radical yet inspiring proposal to use a transparent, elegantly patterned full glass facade as an outer skin, Foreign Office Architects (FOA), London, won the competition for the design of the 25,000 square metre department store. The facade glazing "ipachrome design" by Interpane allows for creative yet functional optics: The design, which was applied in a sputter process, also serves as solar and visual protection and allows for variations in the transparency of the facade.
All pictures: John Lewis Department Store, Leicester, UK
Architect: Foreign Office Architects, London, UK