Folded metal kiosks by Make
open like a paper fan

| 14 comments

London architecture office Make has designed a portable prefabricated kiosk with a folded aluminium shell that opens and closes like a paper fan (+ movie).

Folded metal kiosks by Make open like a paper fan

Make based the design of the kiosks on the folded paper forms of Japanese origami, but chose to reproduce them in metal to create a compact and robust structure that can house street vendors.

Folded metal kiosks by Make open like a paper fan

"Origami was fundamental in developing the design; the ideas of a folding fan informed the design and folded paper models were used throughout the process, right up to the final testing of the completed design," project architect Sean Affleck told Dezeen.

Folded metal kiosks by Make open like a paper fan

Two of the kiosks were installed in a public plaza at London's Canary Wharf and acted as information and vending points for the duration of an ice-sculpting festival last month.

Folded metal kiosks by Make open like a paper fan

Affleck said the kiosks were created to perform multiple functions at different venues: "They've been designed to be used anywhere and for a multitude of purposes; from serving coffee, to information points, to a spot for DJs at events."

Folded metal kiosks by Make open like a paper fan

The folded structure is made from hinged aluminium panels that radiate from a central axis and are treated with a resilient powder-coated finish.

Folded metal kiosks by Make open like a paper fan

A counterweight system controlled by a winch raises the front of the kiosk upwards from the base to create an opening that reveals the interior.

Folded metal kiosks by Make open like a paper fan

The folded section forms a canopy that protects the inside and anyone standing in front of the counter.

Folded metal kiosks by Make open like a paper fan

An interior space measuring 1.95 by 3 metres is lined with a plywood skin covered with a waterproof membrane, while a further layer of cladding creates an insulating gap to reduce the impact of solar gain.

Folded metal kiosks by Make open like a paper fan

Make collaborated with metal fabrication specialist Entech Environmental Technology Ltd to manufacture and test the pavilions off-site and then transported and installed them pre-assembled.

Folded metal kiosks by Make open like a paper fan

The kiosks will continue to be used as information points or rented out to vendors during an ongoing series of events taking place in Canary Wharf, and can subsequently be moved to a new location.

Folded metal kiosks by Make open like a paper fan

All images are courtesy of Make.

Folded metal kiosks by Make open like a paper fan

The architects sent us the following project description:


Make kiosks open for business

Two unique prefabricated retail kiosks designed by Make Architects were opened to the public for the first time when they became part of the Canary Wharf's Ice Sculpturing Festival.

Folded metal kiosks by Make open like a paper fan

The simple folding geometric form of the kiosk is based on the concept of origami.

Expressed as a compact, sculptural rectangular box when closed, the structure is transformed when open, with folds and hinges in the aluminium panels allowing them to expand and contract like a fan when the kiosk opens and closes.

Folded metal kiosks by Make open like a paper fan

Sean Affleck, Make lead project architect, said: "It's fantastic to see the kiosks on site being used and enjoyed by the public, and adding vibrancy and character to Canary Wharf's public realm area.

Folded metal kiosks by Make open like a paper fan

"Our solution on the modern street kiosk is a distinctive sculptural rectangular box that transforms when it opens and its function is revealed. The design is also efficient and functional with compact, robust, durable, easy to maintain and vandal and graffiti- proof features. The internal fit-out elements can be adapted to suit the needs of individual vendors."

Folded metal kiosks by Make open like a paper fan

The extremely lightweight, portable structure was tested and prefabricated off-site by Entech Environmental Technology Ltd, delivered to Canary Wharf via lorry and installed complete and pre-assembled.

Folded metal kiosks by Make open like a paper fan

  • Nomo

    Very cool! Only one question, what happens when it’s open and raining?

    • Kate

      Uhh… What usually happens?

      • Joh

        It seems like when folded all of the water would just be funnelled into the space.

  • Chris MacDonald

    That is really quite beautiful.

  • papou

    Brilliant, but maybe a little bit too complicated for a simple kiosk.

    • nofelix

      Depending on the situation, the most complicated (and thus eye-catching) kiosk could be the best.

  • Fluture

    Ugly things. Big metal birds near my walk area. And black! Sure we need more black metal in our life.

  • ecco fratello

    Has the cool factor, but definitely this is where form stepped over function. The design brief also said it has to be vandalism and graffiti-proof, but aluminium can easily be bashed, and this kiosk might look better with some colourful tags on it.

    It would look cool in a dystopian street market, but not so nice for the campo dei fiori.

  • angiekje

    Love the idea :)

  • Rae Claire

    Nothing is vandalism/graffiti proof. I would like a smaller one in a happy colour for my backyard.

  • Concerned Citizen

    Much better than the funeral tents they usually have at street fairs.

  • ahmet

    Is it water proof, especially the top?

    • It Water Tight

      There is a waterproof membrane and the rain water is diverted away. So yes, the inside is watertight except through the open entrance :)

  • Milos

    Clever design! It would be vandalism/graffiti proof if it folded all the way down at night, becoming part of the pavement or at least a seat. Just saying.