Barclay’s unconventional Origami inspired French Headquarters
Japanese art of Origami, inspired architect Manuelle Gautrand to design the French headquarters of the Barclays Capital Bank and he gave it an artistic and edgy design, employing natural light to create a luminous ambiance.
Barclay’s origami inspired headquarter
The origami building, as it is named, is in Paris, and is at a yawning distance from historical monuments like the Arc de Triomphe. Manuelle’s challenge therefore was to design a building that looked well-fitted in its illustrious neighborhood and yet retained the touch of modernity. He thus, came up with the idea of using ancient art of origami to create a playful double glass wall system that would define the building premises.
The front wall is made up of two components, the inner glass wall that acts as a curtain and a screen printed with marble patterns mounted on steel panels in the front. The marble panels are fitted within a triangular aluminum frame and their placement gives the appearance of origami folds. The 'open book' like pattern provide sunshade to the façade and balcony railings of the upper floor.
Just like paper fans are made by alternating creases and troughs, the marble screenings too have deeper creases in the centre of the facade, which slowly flatten towards the edge of the building. To create this illusion, the architect used three types of marble patterns, a darker tint inside and two lighter shade marbles that cover the edge.
Marble printed screens were chosen over real marble pieces as the veneer because the designs and colors could be manipulated easily. Also, marble has a tendency to de-crystallize in appearance when cut too thin, and the screens proved to be more durable maintaining their symmetrical pattern.
The best part of the origami building is that it allows incredible view from the inside and looks incredible from the outside. The building stands testimony of how a simple design idea can transform to a charismatic architectural piece.