Paper Loghouse

I really admire Shigeru Ban, especially his work with paper tubes because it reminded me of a project that I worked on last semester, it was a similar material, but at a smaller scale. Until I saw the video that we watched, I was unaware of any buildings designed with a paper tube material, so it was very impressive to find out that someone has already done it. One design in particular that caught my attention were the paper doghouse that he created in 1995. Due to the earthquake in Kobe, Japan, there was a large amount of people who were forced to live in tents in parks that were nearby their destroyed houses even six months after the earthquake.[1] Ban’s solution to this natural disaster was to create a cheap and simple structure that could be built by anyone.

The base of the structure was made with sand-filled beer cases, while the walls and the ceiling were made with paper tubes, and the roof is made with a tent material. A good idea that I notice was that he designed the ceiling and the roof as two separate components so that it can circulate air in the summer and be closed and retain heat in the winter. On top of that, the material itself  can be reusable, easily transported and stored, and they can be made on site.[2] All of these capabilities make the material that much better. In addition, Ban found a way to make it waterproof and fire resistant by applying a self-adhesive waterproof sponge tape in between each tube.
In this same article, Ban talks about how he wants to make buildings a few stories high, but yet has he been given the opportunity. I think it would be great to see some buildings in the US designed with paper tubes, but at the same time, I feel like some people will think of it as a material that does not fit with the steel and concrete skyscrapers that already occupy a large quantity of land. However, I believe that it would begin to contrast these buildings because it is so different, and it has the potential to be built at a larger scale.


[2] ibid.


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