Created for Canary Wharf in London, these folding kiosks, designed by Make Architects, were inspired by Japanese paper folding. “[The kiosk] had to be solid, but lightweight, so then that led us to origami,” said Make lead project architect Sean Affleck. “[You] end up with something very flimsy; add a few folds and creases, and suddenly the strength appears. In the folds, the shape appears.”
When commissioned, it was requested that the design of the kiosks be aesthetically pleasing whether opened or closed. Going the route of folding allowed this characteristic to take shape. When closed, the kiosk looks like a futuristic sculpture, mimicking the steel and stone of the city through the matte grey color. Opening, there are no visible doors or shutters. The architecture folds into itself, keeping the architecture clean and consistent while revealing reddish-orange strips of metal on the interior.
Make Architects modeled the design in 3ds Max and MicroStation. Physical models were produced in paper, cardboard and foam board prior to fabricating the final architecture. The opening section of each kiosk is made of 2-millimeter-thick aluminum plate, while the rest of the body is a stainless steel derivative developed in-house. The key to the fabrication process, as explained by Affleck, was folding, pressing, and rolling the metal to form an integral hinge at either side, into which a stainless steel rod was inserted. Although the kiosk door is light enough to open and close manually, the designers installed a remote-control electric winch to avoid undue stress on the structure.