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Paper Architecture

Part 1 Project 2014
Kai Hang, Hank Liu
University of Hong Kong, China
Paper Architecture - the act of representing a physical building and/or expressing an architectural idea through the dimensions of an image, has become increasingly popular in the past decades. Every day, architects all over the world produce beautiful images at unprecedented speeds in hopes of convincing others that the imageries they have created can produce great architecture. The vastness of these highly accessible images is blurring the boundary between reality and fiction. The image of an architecture has become the first point of contact to an architecture, whether the piece of architecture being represented has been built or not. Paper Architecture has become architecture.

There are certain views and spaces that even if you cannot see it, you are still able to imagine or recognize its existence. Nowadays, people are gradually missing the important parts of the pictures as they see thousands of views and flip through thousands of images every day through the Internet, magazines and books. There is a lack of focus and stories to speak through those paper architecture and paper spaces that would stay in people’s mind and mean more than just a two-dimensional image.

This phenomena is evident in the way visitors approach buildings. Equipped with a camera or a smart phone, visitors take pictures of the building at oblique angles in an attempt to recreate the images they have seen. As architects, how does this way of experiencing and evaluating architecture affect the way we design? How do we design for the views seen in images? And how do we design for qualities that cannot be experienced through images?

PAPER Spaces – is imaginary; it is an image.

“It is not the building in the images that makes them architecture but the event”
“A building that was known only through magazine images, It lived in the photography.”
“It is just the matter of time for photographers to become architects”
– Beatriz Colomina, 1994¬¬

Kai Hang, Hank Liu


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