Polish Farmhouse brought to life with animation

txt by Paweł Świerczek


Capturing the specific nature of an architectural object, which is a work of art inextricably connected with the place of its creation, may be quite troublesome. One can write about architecture, document it in photographs or present architectural projects. Rafał Barnaś has added experimental animation to the set of artistic means aimed at telling stories about architecture and his ArchiPaper has taken film festivals around the world by storm.


ArchiPaper is an animated story about a Polish Farmhouse designed by BXB architectural studio which combines traditional farm buildings with contemporary design, creating a unique complex of residential barns in picturesque surroundings near the lake. The philosophy behind the project is based on the close relationship between man and nature, and the tradition and history of the place.


Rafał Barnaś is a man of many talents who creates works in the fields of architecture, visualisation, film, stand-up, music and education. He is also the founder of Unique Vision Studio where ArchiPaper was made. While shooting his non-commercial short, Barnaś used a mix of techniques including stop-motion, 3D models, drawings and reflex camera, and the whole project was based on the physical model of the Polish Farmhouse designed by BXB.


There is a lot going on in Barnaś’s several-minute-long animation. ArchiPaper is a pastoral, surreal image in which the process of designing a house intertwines with the idyllic vision of farm life. Spilled paint turns into water, and human hands move the elements of the farmhouse which is then populated with animated characters. This visually refined kaleidoscope of images is rather an impression than a documentation of architecture.


ArchiPaper will not tell us about the details of the project or show how photorealistic the Polish Farmhouse is. What it will convey is the ambience of the place and the impressions of its visitors. It is an animation which – similarly as in the case of architecture – you absorb with your whole body. In this (and in its production mastery) lies its strength which has been appreciated at more than a dozen festivals of animation, design and video art worldwide.