"Paper architecture" is typically derogatory, used to describe the architect who designs much but builds very little.
Christina Lihan’s paper sculptures of architectural landmarks and iconic cityscapes is a nice play on the term. Lihan hand carves sheets of watercolor paper to build real, three-dimensional structures that pop from the picture frame (or shadow box in this case).
She begins by drawing out the scene in charcoal, using this template as the starting point for her paper works. She constructs the "building" in layers, and usually from the oblique, so as to amplify the 3D effect. Here, miniature skyscrapers and lilliputian basilicas are rendered in great detail, with every spire, column, and mast perfectly in place.
All images courtesy of Christina Lihan.
This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.