Gallery: Glittering, Origami-Inspired High-Rise Pops Up in Paris

Overlooking the postcard-perfect views of the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, the Barclays Headquarters in Paris glistens in the sun with a sparkling origami-inspired facade. Designed by Manuelle Gautrand, the double-skinned exterior features a myriad of triangular shapes. The marble-like segments join together to transform the existing façade, while also protecting the interior from solar gain.

Like iridescent fish scales, the Barclays Headquarters’ triangular panels form a pattern on the street-facing façade. Rather than using real marble, the marble effect was achieved by screen-printing glass, which gave Gautrand total control over the marble pattern and glazing. The pattern and hues bend at the center of the triangles, to create a delicate fading effect.

The marble-printed skin acts as a natural (and aesthetically innovative) sun screen for the offices inside by blocking solar gain and filtering harsh sunlight through the translucent panels. The folded glass layer also creates an element of privacy for the offices behind it.


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1 Comment

  1. Isabella Bird January 17, 2014 at 10:55 am

    What a wonderful and unique contribution to the Paris Skyline. It is remarkable how much glass technology has advanced in the last 10 years. This is an awesome example of what is possible. I am a huge fan of and always wonder if they played a part. Many of the most awesome buildings have some of their product. Check out the new flying bridge at

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