This temporary tea house was built by Katagiri Architecture + Design and Akinori Inuzuka Design using only ‘Washi’, the traditional Japanese paper, as a structural element. In order to stabilize this fragile paper material, the Origami methodology is utilized to obtain a structural stiffness as well as a joint mechanism as a modular system to assemble its body. Pieces of paper measuring 50 x 100 centimeters (20 x 40 inches) were folded 8 times to form a single unit with 2 pockets and 2 arms which allow them to be assembled without any glues, but just simply slotting in to each other.
The movable tea house is shown at Nijō Castle — a UNESCO world heritage site in the Japanese city of Kyoto. Nijo-Jo Castle is known as one of the most prestigious flat land castle constructed in 1603 at the beginning of EDO era by Ieyashu Tokugawa. The studio says that the tea house is inspired by the beauty of transience, which represents japan’s sense of values towards space and the environment.
The simple construction method means that ‘shi-an’ can be assembled and disassembled quickly and easily without fixed foundations. In addition, the origami paper masonry structure can transform its composition and shape flexibly by different way of stacking methods to accommodate various activities.
“The cellular structure metabolizes its own body like living creatures for continuous adaptation to surrounding environments and its uses,” says the design team.