Paperhouse by Heatherwick Studio



Designer Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio has completed a series of brass newspaper kiosks in London.


The kiosks are opened by rotating the front sections around the structure, allowing vendors to set out and clear away their stock more efficiently.


They are made of wood coated in patinated brass, supported by a steel frame.


A glazed band at the top allows natural light into the kiosks during the day and is illuminated at night.


Photographs are by Cristobal Palma.


More Dezeen stories about Thomas Heatherwick:

UK Pavilion at Shanghai Expo 2010
Dezeenwire: Thomas Heatherwick interview in The Guardian
Creative Units at Aberystwyth Arts Centre
Piggyback for Magis
Thomas Heatherwick's new website
Thomas Heatherwick wins British Pavilion competition for Shanghai Expo 2010
Boiler Suit
East Beach Cafe interior
East Beach Cafe

Here's some more information from Heatherwick Studio:


The studio was commissioned by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea to design kiosks for selling newspapers at a number of locations throughout the borough. The existing stands that the kiosks will replace are dull rectangular boxes on the street; their roller shutters make them dead and unwelcoming by night, flat surfaces make them a target for graffiti and their canopies are awkward to use. The poor design of their structure means that the vendor has to spend up to an hour, morning and evening, setting up and packing away the stand.

The studio wanted to design a kiosk without flat surfaces on the outside that looks good by night as well as day, with a different kind of opening and closing mechanism to make the vendor’s life easier.

The new kiosk has a distinctive, stepping-outward form – the result of a more ergonomic arrangement of magazine shelves which also makes the outside a less obvious target for vandalism. The uppermost roof sections are made of toughened glass, so that light comes into the kiosk by day and shines out of it by night. Instead of a heavy roller shutter which has to be lifted, the kiosks open by rotating the front sections out around the structure. The kiosks are made of wood, with an external coating of patinated brass.


The Paperhouse is an innovative alternative to existing box-like newspaper stands the structure made of steel and lined with wood on the inside and patinated brass on the outside opens out in sections, providing a secure, weatherproof location for the vendor, filled with daylight. Each Paperhouse can be easily located on the street, plugged in and opened up, ready for use immediately.

The first kiosks have been installed at key locations across Kensington, including Earl’s Court and Sloane Square. Further installations will follow.


Thomas Heatherwick said: “This has been a fascinating commission for the studio. Newspaper kiosks are an important part of our street heritage – they add vibrancy to the life of the street and provide random opportunities for incidental conversations. The challenge of creating a structure which is able to stand up to conditions in the street whilst making an interesting addition to the urban environment has been exciting.”

Councillor Daniel Moylan, Deputy Leader of the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, said: “This commission is about more than just replacing some existing newspaper stands. It is key to our continuing commitment to excellent design for the public realm.”


Project Name: Paperhouse
Location: London
Location: Kensington & Chelsea
Function: Newspaper Kiosks

Client: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, Daniel Moylan
Designer: Heatherwick Studio
Design Development: Heatherwick Studio in partnership with Nader Mokhtari
Manufacturer: Manage Ltd & sub-contractors
Fit out sub-contractor: 2D3D
Frame sub-contractor: Guttridge
Structural checks: TALL engineers

Posted on Tuesday August 4th 2009 at 12:49 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Nick the Greek

    I saw one of these outside Earl’s Court tube station the other day, and although reading this post has made me appreciate some of the concerns governing the design, I have to say, they really aren’t very pleasant to look at

  • waooow..awesome…

  • Looks like one of the teleportation pods in “The Fly” …

  • Luxury Larry

    i luv it…must go check it out!

  • Arthur Crabtree

    Wonderfully Art Deco – most appropriate for the Royal Borough. Rich traditional materials, and a pleasing form – very comforting. My only comment would be the operator and customer visibilty looks poor when the doors are half closed but Im sure that could be remedied………..

  • I Can Has Cheeseburger

    i am luving this….must go check it out!

  • Its good to see councils commisioning thought provoking designs, its just makes the high street that much more interesting.

  • 3T

    I thought dezeen was going to remove pointless comments such as ‘waooww…awsome!!’

  • quinn

    Sublime. Reminiscent of the movie Dune, the roaring ’20s, set-design. Lovely to see how the very shape and design influence how the product is displayed. Form, in this case, equals function.

  • I am enchanted. It reminds me a bit of a wasps’ nest and I always love intersectiony things like that.

  • jack the ripper

    yes , i agree with quinn; there is something art deco about it .

    it would fit nicely in Paris too, no ?

  • Woaaww…awesome.
    Need some net curtains to go match the old fashioned brass though.

  • melon

    reminds me of a wasps nest… which is quite literally a paper house… Whilst I admire the inventiveness of the design, I find it pretty ugly…. I think it’s the roof – it brings a squat sentry-post like feel to the structure with its glazed pill box slots… …. or check this out…… hmmm, coincidence?

  • 我看行

  • booh

    Brilliant. Not just because of shear aesthetic, but because the designer has completely rethought the way in which “the magazine stand” functions. He has done it in a way that is so intuitive- so novel- and so innovative that really I think there’s nothing about this that is NOT brilliant. I just want to follow up on a few of the first comments that state that “they aren’t really pleasant to look at”… these stands have blown my mind. They are so simple, so bold, and so elegantly perfect that I really couldn’t possibly even begin to understand why someone would think that they are hard to look at… seriously… Magazine stands of today are the most dirty- inefficient- and rather un-innovative building typologies that exist today, it’s amazing to see how a designer can breathe life into something that has been so conceptually derelict for such a long time. That is the true beautify of this situation, which i believe is quite beyond issues of color/shape/material.

  • J*

    jack the ripper, please, don’t stain Paris with these things…

  • Jim Ferguson

    I love this and it seems like it would be difficult to tag with graffiti too!

  • B.S.

    The one in Sloane square is surrounded by nasty blue metal boxes storing all the things that don’t fit into these objects. It’s a very poor design. The result just adds to the accumulation of litter on London’s already hard pressed streets.

  • JIll

    I disagree that they are not nice to look at. The golden colour and terraced design is very elegant, and doubly so because they have a function. However, i humble recognise that not all people share my taste. I actually do enjoy that faint hint of a bumbleebee…:)

    They do look a trifle squat, yes, but i don’t find that hard to take at all, given the lovely progression of levels from the base.

    What I’m hoping is that the kiosk designers move on to make coffee sets inspired by these huts- these little art deco-ish (yes i agree with this) designs would make wonderful teapot/coffeepot and teacup designs, with or without handles.

    Certainly the field is open in cities to make more wonderful little structures full of design and function potential…eg bus stops, telephone boxes (where you can actually hear your interlocutor instead of traffic), other paper kiosks, coffee stands, hotdog stands, flower stands, etc.

    Bring it on!

  • JIll

    Just a thought – if they were inverted, the kiosk manager could put flowers in the gaps. :)

  • headplow

    Personally, I’m digging it. It is visually interesting and serves it’s intended purpose rather well. Thankfully the designers showed some restraint using the warm earth tones instead of some loud obnoxious colors like so much of what we see these days.
    Well done.

  • Jay

    Hight end creativity, must have taken lots of effort of Heatherwick Studio team to built this everlasting beautiful house.

  • designgurunyc

    Heatherwick is in the zone. everything he produces right now is well thought out remarkable design. Bravo!

  • Matthew

    Heatherwick caught the steam-punk bug. Next up giant bronze gears opening up a telescopic bus stop.

  • This is another example of why Thomas Heatherwick is the man..brilliant.

  • Lee Corbusier

    I agree with ‘Jack The Ripper’ –
    Paris could do with some new pissoirs…

  • frederick