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.
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.