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Amid Romanesques and Beaux Arts, an Exoskeleton in Paris

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In what Co.Design is calling "another hard-won triumph for contemporary architecture in Paris," French architect Manuelle Gautrand has created an origami-like exoskeleton for an office building right off Place Charles de Gualle and within eyesight of the city's grandest and most beloved buildings, including the Arc de Triomphe. Here the street has a policy that requires the buildings to have "a unified front," which basically translates to a string of stone façades. And so the city threw down the gauntlet, and Gautrand accepted the challenge: to create an airy modern space made from a heavy, ancient material.

The exoskeleton of Origami Office is made from extremely thin (light shines through) marble mounted with triangular frames and glass. "The surrounding area is full of very decorative buildings, with a lot of ornament," Gautrand told Co.Design. "We wanted to work with a sculpted filter, to create graphic shadows and to give a certain deepness to the whole façade, with several layers."

· This Paris Building Has A Fluttering Origami Facade [Co.Design]