Origami Highline

The Site

The northern end of the Balmaceda park is obstructed by a traffic route, Huelen street, connecting Avenida Providencia and Avenida Andre Bello. Due to its short length and the heavy traffic of Huelen street, there is little possibility of submerging the road underground or having it pass overhead as a bridge. These length and weight considerations are the main obstacle to directly connecting the park and the territory in front of Tajamar Towers.

The other important restriction here is the ground-level car park in close proximity to the Mapocho River, a river which includes underground waters running close to the site. The presence of these waters will make excavation difficult and expensive. Moreover one level of underground car park will only have capacity for the current number of cars, which arguably makes the underground idea redundant. So, the car park will remain at the same level but will be recombined into the new landscape design.



Origami is an ancient art of Japan. It is a creative method of folding paper to develop beautiful structures. Japanese origami structures feature chiseled cones achieved by making multiple folds and layers out of a single paper. The resultants are beautiful shapes and forms resembling animals shapes like boar head, birds, etc., objects like ink bottles, air crafts and other objects.

Concept – Origami Highline

The planting of 200 Sakura trees inspired the idea of completing the park with an origami-style structure. The interplay between the delicate and frizzy trees and the subtle but rigid Origami highline makes an appealing and graceful contrast. The abundance of cherry blossoms in the late spring is always highly appealing to park-users and the highline will provide a pleasing experience of the blossoms from a higher perspective. As a raised leisure area and connection bridge, Origami highline opens Balmaceda park in vertical and diagonal directions, resonating with Tajamar Towers, and bringing the territory into one whole. By folding a conical red plane three times, the flat form becomes a functional object. There are three main features of the object:

  • As a bridge connection of Tajamar Towers to the park;
  • As a slope on which public entertainment will take place, providing a seating area for open-air concerts, skateboarding and a viewing area from which to view the park, the Mapocho River and fountains;
  • As a ‘highline’ (like in New York City), a raised space with benches and other street furniture that acts like a first-floor-level park.


The landscape in front of the towers will be designed by mixing hardscape and softscape, blending Sakura trees through organised pedestrian paths. Sakura trees will also be integrated into the car park area. Huelin street will be paved with modern, flat cobblestones. There will be no level difference between the pavement and footpath so the park and the landscape will have a seamless flow for pedestrians. There will be illuminated safety bollards alongside the road.


There will be solar-powered LED lighting integrated into the landscape. Every Sakura tree will be lit from below. The bridge itself will be lit from below following the supporting legs and a red LED strip light will follow the recessed edges. At night the Sakura trees will be illuminated, and a red-light zig-zag will hover above ground as it follows the Origami highline.

Structural Philosophy

The proposed structural form is a response to a natural curves formed in the crust of the earth. Timber is used as a natural material but in a form that is easy and fast to assemble on site and simple to dismantle.

The key component is the use of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panel technology that is produced in significant quantities in Chile. The panels are produced and transported in sizes up to 3m x 18m and is a revolutionary use of timber as it is as strong as concrete but a fifth of the weight.

The decking structure is formed from CLT panels cut to shape and laid on glu)laminated roof truss beams that are spaced at 6m centres. The main display wall is a solid CLT panel system that provides the key stability for the structure. CLT is registered for seismic design in Latin America.

Project Details
Santiago, Chile
Municipality of Providencia, Santiago, Chile
12 m²
Archiplan (Chile)
Davit Canava, Dominykas Daunis, Nikoloz Japaridze, Anton Khmelnitskiy, Ivane Ksnelashvili