Rebuilding History in a Contemporary Way

Found on, what once was a sore eyesore following the aftermath of a World War II bombing is now a beautiful yet thoughtful optical illusion.

You may have heard of trompe l’oeil in a design history class but the architects at MVRDV translated the term to another level. This Glass Farmhouse in the Netherlands is a trompe l’oeil masterpiece consisting of a combination of local farmhouse images printed on glass to best represent the one that once stood at the site. The images were printed at a scale 1.6 times larger than the original to make way for 18,000 square feet of retail, dining, and office space. The larger scale also allows adults to interact with the building as if they were a child again and could remember how the farmhouse originally looked at their height. And, true to trompe l’oiel fashion, the photographed images of doors and windows on the farmhouse do not align with the actual entrances to the structure, which creates riddled perspectives that “answer the public’s desire for a vernacular building, and with a contemporary twist.”


All images courtesy of MVRDV and

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