LAVA’s origami cave emergency shelter

An exhibition of emergency shelters, aptly named Emergency Shelter, opened in Sydney on Thursday 1 September. The exhibition highlights the need for emergency shelters in disaster zones and the role of the design and construction industry in the aftermath of natural disasters.

LAVA's origami cave detail.

LAVA’s origami cave detail.

Image: LAVA

LAVA (Laboratory for Visionary Architecture) proposed an origami cave inspired by the idea of an inhabited water molecule. The design references the Japanese Metabolist movement’s idea of prefabricated capsules as living spaces, and balances the need for mass production with the opportunity for personalized inhabitation.

The design provides sleeping space for two adults and one child, as well as eating and reading space. Lit by battery-powered or solar-operated LED light, the unit turns into a lantern (symbolizing hope) at night.

The unit can be shipped flat-packed, cut from local plywood or dropped from a helicopter, and the interior can be carved out of wood, cardboard, newspapers or other locally available materials. On display at the exhibition is a scale model made from CNC-cut plywood sheets; however, in a real situation the flat pack would be folded into an origami molecule and filled with locally available material.

The Emergency Shelter exhibition features projects by a range of local and international architects, including Ateliers Jean Nouvel, PTW Architects, Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, Cox, Koichi Takada Architects, Sou Fujimoto and Terunobu Fujimori. As well as highlighting the need for emergency shelters in disaster zones, the exhibition also raises awareness and funds for the thousands of people who have been displaced by Japan’s natural disasters.

Emergency Shelter is on at the Customs House forecourt in Sydney until 3 September.

Related topics

More news

See all
A proposed social housing demonstration project in Southport by Anna O’Gorman. Home building and renovation grant scheme ‘a missed opportunity’

The Australian Institute of Architects says the federal government’s $680 million “Home Builder” stimulus package is a missed opportunity for social housing and sustainable homes.

The economic bite from the sudden onset of the coronavirus pandemic has already started to take a toll on architects. How architects fared in the last recession

With a recession upon us, we dig through the Architecture Australia archives to find a state by state breakdown of how architects fared in the …

2019 MPavilion by Glenn Murcutt. No new MPavilion in 2020

The Naomi Milgrom Foundation will not build a new MPavilion in 2020 and will instead reuse the existing six pavilions.

The proposed redevelopment of the Southgate complex will include an elevated park. Fender Katsalidis designs elevated parks and office tower for Melbourne's Southbank

A 21-storey office tower will be built on Melbourne’s riverfront under a masterplan by Fender Katsalidis.

Most read

Latest on site

Calendar