The Origami / Kann Finch

Architects: Kann Finch,
Location: Meydan city, Dubai UAE
Project Team: Jean-Sebastien Herr (associate/design architect), Damian Lambkin (Project architect), Claudio Nunez , Ulysses Lalu, Francis Contreras, Milica Vukasinovic, Clinton Bull, Jamie Madrazo, Mauricio Zulueta, Alaleh S
Interiors: Nicholas Tedford
Structure: E-construct
MEP: Jain Consultants
Building Envelope: MFT
Acoustics: WSP
Client: District development
Contractor: DCC, Dubai Contracting company
Project year: 2010
Construction area: 45,980 sqm

This proposition reconsiders the stereotypical residential tower, in pursuit of a unique structuring of a new language, that the vertical organization of apartment living might allow.

The formal constraints that the site demands are eroded to realize a rich expression of three dimensional image, surface and livability. The fundamental elements of the colonnaded street edges with the podium base establish the urban continuity upon which sits the tower form in its street structure.

The landscaped through site link to this base provides for a connected vertical green intervention that informs the physical structuring of the tower, whilst providing a garden outlook to the apartments. The basic tower is eroded to an ‘H’ plan with a central core. The legs of the H connected at every fifth level, generate extensive roof gardens at interplay with the vertical landscape that brings a multifaceted greening to the apartment outlook as well as assisting in the moderation of the vertical microclimate.

The twenty-six levels of the tower with its roof amenity, locate a repetitive five level sense that are structured as: one floor of three, two bed units, two, two storey four bed units and two floors of two, three bed units. Each unit enjoys an open quality that extends internal living areas to extensive balconies with fully operable uplifting window walls that provide a seamless indoor / outdoor experience.

The vertical surface of the tower to the East and the West are layered with a rich patterned, solid / glass screen that not only develops a unique expression appropriate to location and culture but provides privacy to the immediate tower neighbors to those facades.

The tower is further eroded at its second to fifth levels and the twenty second and twenty third levels to allows the vertical landscape to enrich the ‘H’ structure via its multifaceted planting frames, the landscape expression is as though an organism that has invaded the tower and caused the formal erosion.

This multi layered formal proposition, offers a quality of vertical living that at once is generous, unique and delightful. Its simple structure supports a lifestyle and experience, that tower inhabitation does not normally provide, whilst enriching the urban streetscape with a sculptural interplay of form, surface and light for both its resident and extended community.

This is a major contribution to a fresh urban language that addresses the ‘greening’ of our cities with responsible and unique architecture.

Cite: Saieh, Nico. "The Origami / Kann Finch" 18 Apr 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 17 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Don’t want to be negative, but origami is deeper that that.. although i liked the pattern on the elevations.. and liked the idea that they have openings in between..Don’t like that they have looong closed corridors in all the floors…

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    GET A CONTEXT… dont use maxwell if you only leave the physical sky without any context…

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I totally agree with jonasil.
    I’ve been working in renderings for quite a long time now, and I’ve learned that a great render is not the most accurate, but the one that tells you something about the project. That image of the bed terrace is sooo simple, sooo boring… Anyway, don’t use maxwell (or fry) if you don’t master materials. I don’t get any sense or feeling of this project with such views.
    I love maxwell and it’s capabilities. I love rendering in general, but…it’s just a tool to tell things. Or it should be.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    so you are criticising the renderings… well i like the architecture… it s a quite low highrise for dubai ;). and it reminds me actually more of the game “tangram” than of origami.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    It is really cool building. I like the arabian envi. with the modern text. anyway, it nice specially the section and the green facade cutting through the building…

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Hmmm .. Its called “The Origami” yet in the description text they dont even mention the word Origami. Maybe its because the “concept” was an afterthought just like everything else in Dubai. The tower looks fine , but the pattern is a bit too much. Also, the ‘origami’ ribbon thing has nothing to do with anything, the building might even look better without it.

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    The pattern on the facade looks like it went out of style 10 years ago. It would have been better if the folded plane on the interior space was more integrated into the entire design. I assume that component is why it was called Origami to begin with yet is lost behind a mess of other conflicting ideas.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Words cant distract from the most boring building imaginable.
    Show me the ‘responsible’ architecture? ,how is this achieved?

    Its clear that the driving force of the idea has been lost along the way.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    It´s just that luxury proposals like this are uninteresting. It´s not very challenging to make nice living without economic issues and it´s not architecture it´s more art.

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    This project is a common tower with ornament. How does one experience a different environment. typical decorative architecture.

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    So…is this building partially submerged underwater? next to an atom bomb explosion?

    Why would you want to view the world out of a small aperture?

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