Ephemeral Architecture: 27 Paper Buildings & Pavilions

Colorful Cities by Mathilde Nivet

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Paris-based artist Mathilde Nivet uses a pop-up technique to create vibrant three-dimensional cityscapes. These intricate cut-outs depict urban architecture at various heights and depths as well as color for a realistic effect. Monochromatic works, like the all-black Dream City, are no less visually interesting with their ornate window shapes and peeks at what is hidden beyond the glass.

Paper Star Pavilion by 24 Degree Studio

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Entitled ‘Daphne,’ this pavilion by 24 Degree Studio is site-specific installation within a tunnel stairway in Pyrgos, Santorini, Greece that “interplays with the notion of concealing and revealing the ancient interior surfaces of the tunnel leading to the peak of Pyrgos.” The experience of passing through the paper tunnel is different depending on the weather and the time of day, as the patterns of light and shadow change.

Christina Lihan

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It seems like you could step right into the monochromatic miniature cities created by Christina Lihan. From afar, they appear three-dimensional, but they’re actually relief sculptures that are just a few inches deep, set within shadow boxes. Made of unpainted cold press watercolor paper, the sculptures are laid on top of sketched forms of famous buildings like the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal.

Paper Space by Studio Glowacka and Maria Fulford Architects

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Studio Glowacka and Maria Fulford Architects teamed up to create an undulating paper pavilion at London Design Festival 2013, draping it throughout the room to create a temporary ceiling in an auditorium.