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LAVA’s Origami Cave for Emergency Shelter

LAVA’s origami cave concept is a response to the need for emergency shelter in the aftermath of natural disasters.

LAVA’s Origami Cave for Emergency Shelter


September 2nd, 2011

Security, comfort and protection from the elements are basic human needs that really come to the fore in situations like those following the natural disasters in Japan earlier this year, which displaced thousands of people.

The Emergency Shelter Exhibition, on display now in Sydney in the forecourt of Customs House, called for architects to design shelters in response to this.


Efficiency, sustainability, sensitivity and ease of construction were the chief requirements of the temporary homes.

The team at LAVA came up with an origami cave, based on a water molecule and inspired by the Japanese Metabolist movement’s approach to living spaces as prefabricated capsules.




“The project plays with ideas of prefabrication and personalised inhabitation, as well as stacking of multiple units, while giving an opportunity for individual expression,” explains LAVA’s Chris Bosse.

The base unit is made out of CNC cut plywood sheets and can be flat packed and easily transported; the interior is customisable and carved out any available materials – wood, cardboard, even newspapers.


Although it appears quite small from the exterior, the shelter can sleep 2 adults and 1 child and even has a space for eating and reading. LED light gives the molecule a warm appealing glow.


The Emergency Shelter Exhibition is on display until tomorrow, 3 September.


Emergency Shelter Australia

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