Origami architectural projects for Origami Day

Tomorrow (11 November), it’s Origami Day in Japan. This ancient Japanese art of paper folding has inspired many designers and architects over the years. In honour of Origami Day, we have selected some recent architectural projects that include this folding practice, using material that range from sound-absorbing material to actual paper.

Origami pavilion
Architects Manuel Bouzas Cavada, Manuel Bouzas Barcala, and Clara Álvarez Garcí designed a wooden temporary pavilion for Concéntrico 03. With the idea that a flat paper sheet does not sustain itself, but with the right folds, it can hold great forces, and that this also applies for wooden panels, the architects designed this pavilion. 39 wooden panels are joined with hinges that permit rotation, creating a self-supporting, origami-like structure.

Commissioned by RMIT University and created by Leanne Zilka of Zilka Studio and textile designer Jenny Underwood, this meeting space is made from sound-absorbing material. Thanks to the origami folds, the pod stretches out like an accordion to a cylindrical shape. When not in use, the pavilion can be folded in so it doesn’t take up a lot of space.

The outside of the pod is coloured bright red and orange, while the interior has grey tones. The pavilion was made using digital fabrication methods.

Katagiri Architecture + Design takes origami very seriously, as they show with Shi-An, a round, nomadic teahouse. The construction consists of hundreds of pieces of folded paper without the need for any glue.

The teahouse is solely made from washi paper, a traditional Japanese paper from plant fibres. The pieces of paper were each 500 x 1,000 mm (1.6 x 3.3 feet). The sheets of paper, 4,000 in total, were folded 8 times to create triangular units, which can be inserted together without the need for adhesives. The teahouse can easily be constructed and deconstructed.

For more origami projects  and materials at Materia, click here.

Photos: Concéntrico / Studio Zilka / Katagiri Architecture + Design