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

Gautrand redesigned the exterior of the building to incorporate gardens and greenery.

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.

On the top floor, a large outdoor balcony lines the windows. The edge of the balcony meets with the scalloped edge of the origami skin, decoratively framing the breathtaking views of Paris’ grandest sites.

Gautrand redesigned the exterior of the building to incorporate gardens and greenery. The courtyard is flanked by two gardens, which are accessible through the lobby and to the rear of the building. The roof was planted with grass and gardens, to filter rainwater, insulate, and create a green space for employees to enjoy the views. The manicured rooftop garden is also designed to coincide aesthetically with the beauty of the rest of the building. The reconstruction of the Barclay Building was performed under High Environmental Quality standards, with little environmental disruption during construction.

+ Manuelle Gautrand


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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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