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Folded; unfolding paper architecture, Uncategorized

# PAPER FOLDING ARCHITECTURE/// How can architecture manifest from the notion of ‘Design consults nature?’

>> exploring the method of paper-folding and interrogating the work of architect, Carlo Scarpa; in order to find the essence of haptic, tactile and phenomenological qualities that coexist in each body and are defined through the integration and manipulation of its urban placement.


Paper folding initially originated from Japan, after paper had been ‘introduced to the country in the late sixth century by Buddhist monks.'[1 ] The art than began to develop in Spain and reached Middle East Arabia by the eighth century. ‘The Arabs were Muslims, thus didn’t use representational or human figures’ [2] within their religious architecture and instead introduced a mathematical approach to paper folding, which led to detailed and intricately ordered patterns that have been noted throughout history. For instance, the Azaadi Tower, Tehran, 1971, by architect, Hossein Amanat follows the principles of a rigid grid that was initially derived from the method of paper-folding.


Internal Detail
Azaadi Tower, Tehran, Hossein Amanat, 1971 [3]
Since its early discovery, paper folding has since been adopted as a process within art, architecture and design fields, so as to explore its endless possibilities of tectonic and haptic forms. The notion of folding can in essence define a space in architecture; becoming a part of the detail within a space and its overall composition.
Carlo Scarpa’s work draws upon the ideologies of paper-folding within the structure that essentially defines the circulation path through his edifices. His work consults its natural topography in which it sits as well as emphasising the intricate and subtle details in which he placed within his structures. These simple gestures allow the user to find a trajectory upon which they are able to meander through. The architectural details within Scarpa’s work doesn’t necessary refer to the internal joints, but rather the architectural detail present within the architecture in its full composition as well as its broken sections. ‘Details are a direct result of the multifold reality of functions in architecture.’ [4] The details within Scarpa’s structures are the core of instigating the tactic and haptic qualities that are experienced by one through his edifices. For instance, the materiality and proportion he invests into his Querini Stampalia Bridge, Venice, allows the user to transcend from a cold hard surface to a warm lighter fabric invoking curiosity and creating a sense of phenomenological ambience that invites one further into the precinct.


Material transition
Querini Stampalia Bridge, Venice, Carlo Scarpa, 1949 [5]
The art of folding paper can lead to detailed and thought-provocative ideas that can through rigorous detailing become a realistic vision for an architectural proposition. The essence of paper itself has a sense of purity and tranquillity that can be pushed into the architectonic of an edifice that one can experience through haptic and tactile qualities. For instance, Architectural Design Studio 9 commenced earlier this year at the School of Art, Architecture and Design gave an opportunity for students to develop a residential housing scheme and storm water treatment facility for 4000+ residents, within the parklands of Adelaide. The notion of folding paper was explored during this studio, closely relating the urban topography with the method itself, which ultimately led to an evocative architecture language that had potential to be further developed and refined so the architecture itself becomes woven within its natural fabric.


Pavilion perspective
Tessellated Forest, Sana Ali, 2012
Architecture Design Studio 9, AAD [6]
[1] [2] Origami History, Available online: http://www.origami.as/Info/history.php, Wu, Joseph
(accessed 13.08.2012)
[3] Azaadi Tower, http://thefunambulist.net/2011/08/09/guest-writers-essays-07-unfolding-azadi-tower-reading-persian-folds-through-deleuze-by-biayna-bogosian,
(accessed 13.08.2012)
[4] The- Tell- The Tale- Detail, Theorizing a new agenda for Architecture, Marco Frascari, (ED), PRINCETON, 1996
[5] Querini Stampalia Bridge, http://guttae.blogspot.com.au/2010/05/carlo-scarpa-bridge-of-querini.html,
(accessed 13.08.2012)
[6] Tessellated Forest, ADS9 Urban proposal, Sana Ali, 2012
Additional References
Leach, N., Rethinking Architecture (London: Routledge, 2007)
Franck & Schneekloth: Ordering Space: Types in Architecture + Design, (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold,1994)

About sana ali

Paper. line. fold. is an architectural speculation manifested from a final year Masters of Architecture project research undertaken at the School of Art, Architecture and Design, University of South Australia by Sana Ali.


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