Shigeru Ban

Paper Log House, Kobe, 1995

Seeking solutions to help the survivors of the 1995 Kobe earthquake, Shigeru Ban designed a temporary shelter to meet the emergency needs caused by the disaster: temporary constructions resistant to tremors, low cost, able to withstand extreme weather conditions, more comfortable than the tents ordinarily used in such situations, recyclable, easy to transport and store, and quick and easy to assemble by the victims themselves. Eighty such shelters were built by Japanese and Vietnamese student volunteers, each one assembled in less than ten hours. Each shelter provided a living area of 16 m2, well protected from bad weather (the tubes were waterproofed with transparent polyurethane and stuffed with newspaper). The plywood flooring rested on beer cases weighted down with sand, which were themselves also recyclable; the assembled tubes formed the walls and the roof poles, thereby ensuring that the tarpaulin roof could not collapse.

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