Shi-An, is a small construction, a mobile “tea house”, built entirely in paper. Today it is located in the Daidokoro, in the National Heritage of Nijojo Castle, Kyoto, Japan. An ephemeral design or not, carried out by the architecture studio katagiri.Shi-An, is made from a type of Japanese paper called “Washi” and developed through the Origami method. Eight times the 500mm x 1000mm paper is folded, giving shape to each one of the modules.These mini-modules have two pockets and two arms, so there can be assembled with each other without needing a single drop of glue. A collaborative structure, which does not need more than the solidarity of one piece together with the other.
The assembly of Shi-An is fast and simple, which only needs paper scraps scraps and the proper instructions.
Shi-An consists of a total of 400 units, which generate a shape similar to a dome. An artisanal and delicate structure, which is far from the opulence of the great architectures.In one or another way, as can be seen in the photographs, this constructive system is organic, so that it can grow, and adopt the size that the occupants need. It’s just a matter of getting more hands and more paper.Shi-An, adopts the best of each world, a traditional technique, but that has a minimalist aesthetic, simple and worthy of any ephemeral architecture contest.A nomade house, a shapes that oscillates between the vegetable and the animal world, an ancestral and contemporary architecture. A cavern, which invites us to enter, to shelter us, and reminds us that our hands and our culture are all we need to build.Photos by Takuya Watanabe