Cabanas - Orange HQ

steam bent ash lamellas

Paris office breakout pavilions

Project Year


Xylotek Role

Detailed Design, Fabrication and Installation

Project Team

Architect: Mamou Manu Architects // Enginerr: Format Engineers

Photo Credits

Workshop photos: Martin Phelps // Completion photos: Studio Naaro


Xylotek was thrilled to collaborate with Mamou-Mani Architects and Format Engineers in creating a stunning biophilic design for the new Paris HQ of Orange Telecoms. Our team was tasked with the timber detailing, fabrication, and installation of a pair of 'Cabana' break-out pavilions that would offer a unique and inspiring space for employees to work and relax.

The challenge Mamou-Mani had was to create an intricate design that would provide privacy and inspiration while using a sustainable process. The answer was the use of steam-bend ash lamellas, which minimized waste in the production process and enabled the creation of a fractal steam bent timber skin that provided privacy while allowing light to filter through the space. Mamou-Mani were also inspired by the natural fibres of cactus, which informed the curvature of the ribs.

To create the Cabanas, Xylotek had to experiment with the digital form-finding and physical prototyping of the rib geometries. We had to find the optimal form for the initially straight planks, which could then be curved into the twisting and bending shapes required for the design. After testing the over-bending process, which accounted for the spring-back that occurs when pieces are taken out of the steam bending jigs, we were able to create the curved screens that formed the Cabanas.

The sinuous 2.5m high ribs and filigree infill elements, also steam bent, were carefully crafted and installed to form a unique and inspiring space that complements the natural environment of the new Paris HQ of Orange Telecoms. The result was a stunning and biophilic design that not only provided a break-out space for employees but also added to the overall aesthetic appeal of the building.

Throughout the project, we worked collaboratively with Mamou-Mani Architects and Format Engineers to ensure that our fabrication and installation were in line with their design intent. Our attention to detail and precision in the fabrication and installation process ensured that the Cabanas were successfully delivered to the Orange Telecoms HQ in Paris and installed on time.

Xylotek is proud to have been part of this project, which showcases the beauty and versatility of timber and its potential as a sustainable material. It was an exciting opportunity to work with such talented architects and engineers in creating a unique and inspiring space.

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