Origami by Architects Collective



Austrian firm Architects Collective have completed Origami, a Corian-clad penthouse on top of an existing building in Mexico City.


The new extension includes two terraces and is positioned on top of an existing three-storey building. Its steel structure is covered in Corian panels.


The following is from Architects Collective:


Origami in Mexico City

In the heart of Mexico City lies the Condesa district created around what was once a racetrack and today a unique and vibrant neighborhood of the city. At the end one of the Condesa’s tree-lined streets is the project, a penthouse with two terraces and a lookout on top of an existing 3-story building.


The new structure appears like a nomadic structure floating above the diverse urban topography of Mexico City. The owners inhabit the penthouse six month of the year and the rest of the time it is used by friends, visitors and artists that stay in the city. The structure was designed to reflect the movements of its transient inhabitants in an origami-like morphology.


The folding dynamic form creates a seemingly temporary habitat with continuous inside and outside spaces on two levels and generous views of the city. The building’s skeleton is made of steel and is completely enveloped in pearl-grey acrylic-polymer Corian panels, the first time this material was used as an entire building envelope.


Overhangs and the thoughtful orientation of interior spaces and openings moderate the climate of the penthouse, which can also be adjusted by providing cross ventilation through operable windows in the glass façade and at the highest point of the roof construction.


The floors covering the entire penthouse- from the moment you enter, to the moment you step into the bathtub- are of Santo Tomas marble, a local stone usually employed as flooring in the city’s subway stations, churches and other public spaces. Thus the echoes of the outside are folded in quietly into a private space, further re-enforcing the notion of a transient, temporal habitat.


project: Ozuluama Residence
project type: construction of a penthouse
location: Mexico City, MEX
client: Yoshua Okon
architect: Architects Collective & AT.103
collaboration: Kurt Sattler, Julio Amezcua, Francisco Pardo
structural consultant: Colinas de Buen
façade consultant: Vilcre
contractor: Factor Eficiencia
façade Corian by DuPont
marble floor: Santo Thomas, Mexico
construction: Stahlbau / steel frame
site area: 150 m²
floor area: 120 m²
gross floor area: 125 m²
Umbauter Raum cubage 500 m³
start of planning: 06/2004
start of construction: 10/2007
completion: 05/2008
construction costs: 2.600.000 MXN / 180.000 EUR / 250.000 USD





Posted on Sunday November 16th 2008 at 9:53 pm by Matylda Krzykowski. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • KA

    At current Corian prices, how could this possibly be built for $250k (US). The data suggests this was then built for $200 per square foot. Was the Corian material donated?

  • Mac

    KA: 250.000,- / 125 m2 = 2000 USd / m2

  • Kim

    The last picture looks like the guy is locked inside, and is freaking out because the dogs are ready to eat him alive…he surely lost something on the terrace
    Looks like he’s calling for help…

  • yung

    Perhaps so.
    And people just start to call things with straight lines and flat surfaces “Origami”
    Origami chair, Origami table, Origami house…

  • cool estethics, cool location. Strangely straightforward plan for quite complicated geometry. Would like to know more about the section.

  • NA

    KA is right, their budget numbers are way off…something isn’t as it appears.

  • si esta increible el barrio donde esta…y el diseno queso relindo..

  • Danny

    i don’t see the benefit of using corian as opposed to a nice crisp render. The form is bulky and i think a contrast with the new building would have been better than this blur.

  • mmm

    not convinced. at all.

  • Liminal

    Flat white surfaces framing views may work in Austria but in Mexico? That poor guy is blinded by the glare, he can’t see his way out!

  • clee

    such an energy to understand all this folding and unfolding… is seems like such a waste of time and power. What is the point for such a complexity?Origami it is a nice trick to produce space and forme but is it enough to succeed?

  • rene

    En la condesa una obra mas, el concepto es muy bueno pero aun se continua con la falta de conocimiento del clima y las correctas orientaciones el D.F. es un clima cálido-seco y con , ahora en diciembre se han de estar muriendo de frio, claro que con un calefactor que gastara una infinidad de watts se soluciona todo, bioclimaticamente y energeticamente esta reprobada, como objeto estético pasa. En Mexico somos ricos en sol, todos los espacios menos la recamara están orientada hacia el norte!!!!! No veo colectores solares, en la ciudad mas contaminada???
    Vivi en Austria-Viena y definitivamente estos colegas no son buenos, muy fashionistas y poco conscientes de lo que diseñan.

  • james

    those are some ugly dogs

  • chris the fish

    i appreciate it just for the balls to make a corian house

  • raul

    Liminal: You have never been to mexico city right???? its 2,500 meters high, lots of pollution…not so bright, not so warm. It’s not cancun or acapulco. Please learn Geography. I think it works on the neighborhood.

  • julia

    What the fuck is wrong with people that insult dogs?
    This is about the arquitecture. Concentrate in the topic freaks!!!!