The man who made Moscow from paper: Teacher’s incredible origami models of iconic Russian cathedral

Published October 18, 2012 by Origami Architecture


Meet the man who built Moscow… from paper. Sergei Tarasov recently completed this remarkably detailed modular origami models of Saint Basil’s cathedral using folded bits of paper.

The school teacher spent the past year meticulously building the incredibly accurate replicas of the historic landmark in the Russian capital with tens of thousands of pieces of paper.

The 42-year-old, from the village of Tigritskoye in southern Russia, has plenty to show for all his hard work, as he unveiled the awe-inspiring work he built at home, which stands at 1.5 metres tall.

Tarasov said he didn’t even take a sketch of the impressive building, but was still able to produce his glorious interpretations of the cathedral for a Russian arts and crafts festival.

The art teacher has been fascinated by the Japanese art form origami for some time, and says that most of his free time is spent cobbling together the modular pieces which make up the parts of his models.

He has begun teaching origami to the children at the schools he works at, some 300 miles from the nearest major city, Krasnoyarsk, Siberia.

The talented modeller has somehow found the time to build animals like rabbits and roosters, as well as dragons, trains and other buildings.

A perfectionist, Tarasov is often forced to disassemble his works midway through building them to make crucial refinements, improving their accuracy and authenticity.  

So detailed are his creations, that they even adhere to a similar colour scheme as their giant, real-life counterparts. The orange-red brick of Saint Basil’s is reflected by red pieces of paper in Tarasov’s model.

St Basil’s is not the only cathedral Tarasov has built from paper. He also unveiled his take on the awe-inspiring Svyato-Spassky Cathedral in the southern Siberian town of Minusinsk.

Modular origami is a demanding practice and makes use of multiple pieces of paper to create more detailed and sophisticates models than would be possible using a single sheet.

Tarasov folds each individual piece of paper into a module and attaches those together to assemble parts before adding the larger shapes together to create his spectacular models.

But Tarasov is by no means finished building his models. The talented modeller is aiming to construct his own complete versions of the Kremlin and Red Square in Moscow to add to his astounding collection.

The real-life version of Saint Basil’s, a Russian Orthodox church also known as the Cathedral of Saint Vasily the Blessed, was constructed under the orders of Ivan the Terrible between 1555 and 1561.

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