Art and Design

Folded Architecture

Origami gives architects ideas for buildings. Folds in sheets of steel or the surfaces of roofs can be like folds in sheets of paper. Making models in paper is an easy way for architects to play with problems and test what buildings might look like.

Here are some interesting examples of buildings inspired by origami. You can use them to think about geometry and shapes.

The Origami Bridge crosses a lock at Roath Basin in Cardiff Bay. It was designed by Studio Bednarski in 2011.

Roath Basin, Cardiff Bay © Studio Bednarski
Roath Basin at night © Studio Bednarski

The Art Tower at Mito, Japan, is a 100-metre tall tower designed by Arata Isozaki in 1990. A glass lift goes up the middle to a viewing platform. It is made of triangular surfaces. It is possible to make a tower like this in paper.

St Petersburg airport terminal was designed by the British architect Nicholas Grimshaw in 2014.

Pulkovo International Airport, St. Petersburg, Russia