• Daniela Jiménez

London's Paper House


The renowned architecture firm, DROO Architecture, was founded by architects Michel Da Costa Gonclaves and Amrita Mahindroo. Their holistic approach to design is what has distinguished them from other firms and in this case, they present a unique structure that communicates who they are as a team. By using creativity, design and knowledge, they created a building with a wrinkled paper texture that projects a lightness never seen before in concrete structures.

The building is located in Shoreditch in London and has been named The Paintworks. It encompasses 4 floors, 2 office units and 8 departments. The now residential and business building used to hold several art studios and an art supply store. The structure was completely renovated and transformed by the firm and the wrinkled texture facade serves the purpose of honoring the old tenants.

In this case, unlike other architectural projects, the facade is the one that grabs the observers attention. "We wanted to work with a subtle material technique to communicate the building's history while we allow it to become something else", said Mahindroo to Dezeen. This facade was made by using a compound of recycled resin and concrete by the facade specialist, Carea.

To achieve the wrinkled texture it was necessary to create a digital map of a real wrinkled paper, after this a special mold was created so that it could be used to stamp each panel. Even though the pattern repeats itself throughout the building, the pattern is so perfect that is makes you believe that every wrinkle was made by hand. Carea's and DROO's skill is reflected in the creation of the facade that seems to be ephemeral and light, nevertheless when touched you can perceive its strength and solidity.

The building was built as an extension of a warehouse that was already there so proportions of the new design had to be compatible with the already existing building. Demonstrating a great eye for detail, architects created a building that even though it was completely renovated, it doesn't compete with the already existing buildings surrounding it. Au contraire, it blends in perfectly without losing its uniqueness.

The distribution was specially though out to not lose a centimeter with the renovation and make everything as large as possible. The building has 1,550 m2 of which in the first floor there are two office spaces, in the first and second floor have three apartments each and the third floor holds two penthouses.


DROO has officees in London, Paris and Melbourne, Australia.


Photos: Courtesy of NAARO

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© 2019 by Daniela Jiménez.