Digital Origami by AKA Architetti



Rome architects AKA Architetti have won a competition to design a television and learning centre in Italy with this design, entitled Digital Origami.


The design will be built in the former Italcitrus packaging plant in Reggio Calabria, Italy.


The complex will comprise television and audio-visual production facilities, as well as exhibition spaces for temporary installations and film festivals.


The project involves restoring four of the six existing buildings, demolishing the other two and construction a new, semicircular building with a piazza at its centre.


The new structure will be covered with a mesh, illuminated at night to project messages to the surroundings.


The ground floor will house studios, laboratories, workshops, administrative offices and exhibition spaces, while the first floor will include a cafe, bookshop, offices and classrooms, open to the public.


Here's some more information from AKA Architetti:


International competition – First Prize

Digital Origami

The intervention represents a distinct urban and landscape sign. Not only the broadcasting antenna and the new building but also the entire complex as well as the surrounding terrain were sculptured and were intended to be a piece of land art.


During the night the centre is engulfed by an illuminated net that emerges from the terrain spreading and arriving to the top of the broadcasting antenna/sculpture, visible from afar. The centre it self becomes an instrument of communication, an interactive device and not only a passive container. The Net that enwraps the centre has another function as a bio climate skin. It has bi phase ecologic system; passive, hot/cold protection, and active, with the insertion on photovoltaic panels.


The distribution plan for the new complex is divided in 2 levels, on the ground level are located the more operative spaces, scenographic and tailoring workshops, laboratories, studios, administration offices and in the corresponding new building area an exhibition gallery. On the level above are the public designated areas such as the cafeteria, bookshop, offices and teaching classes. On the same level a suspended visiting path is programmed in order to allow the visitors to view the various activities without interfering.


On the non built areas is planned an equipped public park that participate in the centre activities, the terrain is sculptured in a fractured way that allows to collocate the parking areas and the technical rooms underneath it.


The competition was announced on April 2008 with the submission deadline on September 2008, the jury decision was publicly announced on March 2009. The project contract is foreseen to be held near the end of 2009. The construction timeline stands on 18 months.

“Ce.Te.S” International Competition For An Experimental Television Cultural/Didactic Center In The Former Italcitrus Packaging Plant In Reggio Calabria, Italy.

Organizers: Reggio Calabria local authority.

Development cost: 6.650.000 €

Area: 10.200 sq m

AKA ( AKA - Caccavale, Casadei, Pineschi Associated Architects)

Design team: Federica Caccavale, Alessandro Casadei, Paolo Pineschi, Nadav Engel

Posted on Sunday March 22nd 2009 at 11:56 am by Megan Wilton. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • matt

    wow, origami, such a stunning concept

  • miyagi ifu

    I don’t seem to see any strong allusion to the concept of origami other than the folding roofs which look incidental. Spatially, it is still flat.

  • remforever

    I like it!!

  • eric

    wow, student like and REALLY not innovative… why is this posted?

  • Rockstar

    this ‘competition’ sounds really fake to me!

  • Excellent, dynamic plaza space. I would like to see more about the interior spaces.

    @eric, it may not be ‘innovative’ , but it is no less interesting. Sometimes, I stress sometimes, it is necessary to realize those occasions where doing excellent design isn’t about reinventing the wheel. Well crafted and shaped spaces using elements and techniques that have been established will often result in a better design than an innovative design using new and unproven systems. So, while this may look like a ‘student’ project, its foundation, craft, and execution make it an excellent ‘real world’ project.

  • mime

    I love this project, it’s not going to change the world but I find it smart, elegant and nicely represented. I don’t get why the comments in this website are becoming so harsh and judgmental, always looking for flaws. Economic crisis is making everybody more aggressive?

  • rik

    Let’s make Dezeen positive again.

  • @ rik + mime. Agreed! Criticism is one thing, voicing an opinion, offering insight, etc., but outright slamming of projects really undermines the site. That isn’t to say that everyone must like every project or keep it to themselves, but there is a right way and a wrong way to critique these projects.

  • J

    the thing is the rendering need not neccessary reflect the actualy building. there are alot of thin flying slabs which seemed impossible. origami concept is very much used in the asian culture. how is it relevant here… please elaborate.

  • anton suryono

    it’s certainly a good design..if it’s not good why it was won the competition..
    .but i agree with miyagi ifu’s not look like origami…no offense…but i don’t get the feeling from the origami concept…as far as i know…if we review the origami,it had a certainly pattern…in this design…it’s look like just folding in every part…didn’t have one
    maybe it’s just my opinion because i am just an amateur in this way….cheers…=)….

    sorry for my english….

  • navid

    there are some simple good ideas in the project

  • Ste

    nice project but imho its more like a simple folded roof structure then origami? origami tends to be very subtile and has some great multi layer folds most often… nice nontheless!

  • I like the building concept, and would very much like to see this finished.

  • SS

    What is with all of the origami projects being posted every week…is there a drought of ideas? Origami this origami that…seriously.

  • scarpasez

    I also dislike the nastiness of much of the criticism at Dezeen. It discredits both the readership and any sense of honest critique. Criticism is vital; please deliver it respectfully.

    I find this project a little undisciplined. I wonder how much more development is expected to occur. As of now, it lacks both unity and a sense of intended tension/countering required of architecture that strives to be dynamic.

  • MiKe

    Eric.. I would like to see your works, and your contribution for the architecture (or not) .. . but “that’s all right my sun, you wouldn’t be the first”…

    The project is not very good in relationship with the environment, but don’t stop to be interesting some organization space, and the square limits, and i think the post express exacly the idea of the project, we can understand with this simple images the idea, don’t need to be a “licked” 3D for that… Well Dezeen Keep On the good work