Paper Architecture: Intricate 3D Sculptures by Ingrid Siliakus

From flat sheets of paper, entire cities emerge, rich in unexpected details like balconies, tiny windows and even little people. Dutch artist Ingrid Siliakus uses an initial 90-degree fold to give her miniature cityscapes depth and dimension, with an end result that is reminiscent of pop-up books.

Under Siliakus’ skilled hand, paper ranging from thin sheets to hefty card stock assemble into complex staircases, arches and spires. She specializes in the works of master architects, including Gaudi’s iconic Sagrada Familia of Barcelona.

Before reaching a final product for each piece, the Amsterdam-based paper artist creates an astonishing 20-30 prototypes. She adds layer after layer of folded and cut paper to the design until she is satisfied with the look.

“Working with paper forces me to be humble, since this medium has a character of its own that asks for cooperation. It is a challenge to find this cooperation with each separate paper brand I work with. Working with paper the way I do, namely by means of cutting and folding creating paper sculptures, asks of me to work with meditative precision. Paper architecture does not bare haste, it is its enemy; one moment of loss of concentration, can lead to failure of a piece…”

“…I experience an ultimate satisfaction at the critic moment when the paper, with a silenced sigh, surrenders and becomes a blade-sharp crease. The sound of the paper, which guides this surrendering, to me is incomparable…”