If marble is cut into thin enough slices, it becomes a beautiful kind of translucent window pane. There are plenty of structures that use marble this way– examples range from Byzantine architecture in Ravenna, Italy all the way to modern architecture in New Haven, Connecticut. And what looks like marble in the images above, is actually screen printed glass that folds as it sprawls sprawls across the facade of the Origami Office Building. The project was designed by Manuelle Gautrand and is located near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
The pleats of pretend marble that animate the facade of this project are not created equal. The folds toward the middle of the building are deeper, allowing the pleats to flatten out toward the edges of the facade where the buildings meets its neighbors. It’s a subtle move to create urban continuity in the midst of a facade that seems to be breaking away from its neighbors through the use of glazing technology… even if that technology looks like something as old as marble.