Architects love origami because it achieves what buildings rarely do: frame space through extreme economy of means. Origami artists can produce a panoply of shapes and forms using only a single sheet of paper. Their constructions are inherently structural and can even be engineered to bend, contract, and expand—things that buildings can’t do either.
Still, origami has become something of a trend in contemporary architecture. Building technologies like 3D modeling and rapid prototyping have made it possible for architecture to mimic the elegant and sometimes complex folds found in origami making with minimal structural interference. Projects such as Preston Scott Cohen’s Tel Aviv Museum of Art herald this development towards folding architecture.
Unless otherwise noted, all photos courtesy of the architects. This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.