Archi-Love | Shigeru Ban's Disaster Relief Housing

It seems like every time I turn on the news I hear about another natural disaster that has ravaged part of the world. It's such a tragedy to see how these events have rocked many people's lives, especially by destroying the places they lived and worked. In a theory class of mine last week, we discussed the paper tube architecture of Shigeru Ban. Yes, I really just said paper tube. When you were younger did you ever try to save all of your paper towel and toilet paper rolls to make little projects and gadgets? Well prepare to be jealous of Mr. Ban, because he has invented at least 31 methods of building with super-sized paper rolls,including a multiple disaster-relief structures.

Most of these structures are meant to be temporary, but imagine how much help it would be if you were given even one extra year of shelter after a disaster to get your life into order and re-establish employment. As a response to the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Ban proposed a series of 2 and 3 story housing units constructed from shipping containers to be located in Onagawa. The 188 families who will live in these units are currently housed in a gymnasium that was divided by paper tube walls designed by Ban.

Ban's Container Temporary Housing
I love the simple, utilitarian lines of this design! We could probably all learn a lesson in living with a little less space and fewer possessions from these homes. I would love the opportunity to design homes that respect a tight budget, help those in need, and plan for future uses beyond their first users. Shigeru Ban isn't the only architect creating solutions for those in need. In fact, right in the United States, similar designs are being constructed in New Orleans to house Hurricane Katrina survivors. Typically, architects get a bad reputation as egotistical and narcissistic--perhaps I don't help that with the plethora of mirrors plastered across my home--so it's exciting to see how much architecture can really help communities. What positive architecture have you seen around you lately?

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that is really neat! Thank you for sharing!


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