Architecture

Shi-An: A Japanese origami tea house made entirely out of paper

Shi-An: A Japanese origami tea...
This tiny origami tea house is constructed entirely out of paper
This tiny origami tea house is constructed entirely out of paper
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This tiny origami tea house is constructed entirely out of paper
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This tiny origami tea house is constructed entirely out of paper
The structure is made up of 4000 pieces of paper
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The structure is made up of 4000 pieces of paper
Each folded 8 times
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Each folded 8 times
The tea house uses origami techniques to recall its traditional heritage
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The tea house uses origami techniques to recall its traditional heritage
Inside the structure offers an interesting and calming textured effect
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Inside the structure offers an interesting and calming textured effect
The structure is called Shi-An
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The structure is called Shi-An
It can easily be disassembled and moved
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It can easily be disassembled and moved
The structure rises over 6 feet making it comfortable for most people to stand up inside
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The structure rises over 6 feet making it comfortable for most people to stand up inside
Shi-An was first constructed in Nijo-Jo Castle in Kyoto
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Shi-An was first constructed in Nijo-Jo Castle in Kyoto
Other experiments from Katagiri using the same paper origami process
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Other experiments from Katagiri using the same paper origami process
Other experiments from Katagiri using the same process
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Other experiments from Katagiri using the same process
A curved wall experiment using the origami process
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A curved wall experiment using the origami process
This piece is called the 'Tea Ceremony Partition'
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This piece is called the 'Tea Ceremony Partition'
The material creates a unique rippled texture
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The material creates a unique rippled texture
The Tea Ceremony Partition
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The Tea Ceremony Partition
A closer look at how the pieces fit together
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A closer look at how the pieces fit together
The Tea Ceremony Partition
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The Tea Ceremony Partition
The plans for Shi-An showing the simple 8 fold process for each piece of paper
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The plans for Shi-An showing the simple 8 fold process for each piece of paper
The process of erecting the Shi-An structure
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The process of erecting the Shi-An structure
The recent 'Paper Cloud' in France
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The recent 'Paper Cloud' in France
This piece collects the sunlight in fascinating ways
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This piece collects the sunlight in fascinating ways
The Paper Cloud is constructed from 2000 laminated paper rings that slot together
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The Paper Cloud is constructed from 2000 laminated paper rings that slot together
View gallery - 22 images

Kazuya Katagiri's award-winning Shi-An is a movable mini tea house constructed entirely out of paper using ancient Origami processes. The igloo-like structure is just one of Katagiri's fascinating recent experiments with different techniques and materials.

Shi-An was originally designed as a temporary construction at the Daidokoro in Nijo-Jo Castle, Kyoto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The compelling structure went on to win several awards over the past year including a Japan Design Space award and 1st prize at the recent Rethinking The Future Awards.

The tea house is made up of 4000 pieces of Japanese "Washi" paper. Each piece of paper measures 500 mm by 1000 mm (19 in by 39 in) and is folded eight times. A triangular pocket with two arms is formed and each unit can slot into place with one another without the need for any adhesive. The entire structure stands 2.1 meters high (6.8 ft) and inside has a diameter of 1.85 meters (6 ft).

The structure rises over 6 feet making it comfortable for most people to stand up inside
The structure rises over 6 feet making it comfortable for most people to stand up inside

The paper structure would no doubt be incredibly sturdy, although it's probably not safe to come near with a candle. Katagiri and his team write that the tea house "embodies the idea of Japanese simplified beauties, also at the same time, the cellular body of the structure reminds living creatures of warmth and softness as if it is in the womb."

This interestingly tactile structure is one of several experiments with large-scale paper and origami techniques from Katagiri. His ongoing design interest in unconventional materials and geometry have led to the gorgeous 'Tea Ceremony Partition" and a series of wall-like compositions.

The Tea Ceremony Partition
The Tea Ceremony Partition

Most recently Katagiri created a structure called "Paper Cloud" in Montpellier, France. Eschewing the origami techniques of Shi-An, this piece was built entirely from 2000 laminated paper rings. Again the piece was designed with no adhesive but rather each ring slotted into one another.

This piece collects the sunlight in fascinating ways
This piece collects the sunlight in fascinating ways

Despite his young age, Katagiri is already proving to be a unique new voice on the architecture and design scene. As his projects inevitably scale up in the future we eagerly anticipate what this original designer can bring when playing with larger resources.

Source: Katagiri Architecture + Design

View gallery - 22 images
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