Dezeen Magazine

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:

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Dezeenwire: Thomas Heatherwick interview in The Guardian
Creative Units at Aberystwyth Arts Centre
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Thomas Heatherwick's new website
Thomas Heatherwick wins British Pavilion competition for Shanghai Expo 2010
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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