Technology like 3D modeling have made it possible for architecture to mimic the elegant art of paper folding.

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.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    China's 50-Lane Traffic Jam Is Every Commuter's Worst Nightmare

    What happens when a checkpoint merges 50 lanes down to 20.

  2. Design

    Cities Deserve Better Than These Thomas Heatherwick Gimmicks

    The “Vessel” at New York’s Hudson Yards—like so many of his designs—look as if the dystopian world of 1984 has been given a precious makeover.

  3. Equity

    In Need of Housing, Barcelona Fines Landlords For Long-Vacant Buildings

    The massive fines levied against the investment funds have been interpreted as a “declaration of war” from Mayor Ada Colau, who wants more affordable housing.

  4. Life

    Think You’re Faster Than the D.C. Streetcar? Think Again.

    Streetcars without dedicated lanes tend to be on the slow side. But beating this much-maligned public transportation mode on foot wasn’t as easy as it looks.

  5. A cyclist rides through a desert park and nature preserve in Phoenix.
    Equity

    The Inequality of America’s Parks and Green Space

    New research finds that income, education, and race are correlated with access to green space across and within U.S. metro areas.