Open the era of “Paper Architecture”

The relationship between architecture and paper has been very close since ancient times.

Edinburgh artist Charles, at the speed of making one paper mold every day, he has made a mini-city that not only has 365 paper molds, but also has a pattern. Facing the shocking work, Charles passionately called it “Paper Sandbank”.

At the Mumbai International Exhibition Center in India, there is a cafe made entirely of corrugated cardboard. This is not unconventional, but practical, because the gap of the cardboard contains about 50% of the air, which has the function of sound absorption and noise reduction. In such a cardboard cafe, even if there is a KTV next to it, customers can sit down and read a book quietly.

A “parcel house” made of cardboard in the Netherlands is priced at 25,000 euros (about 190,000 yuan), although it is made of paper, it can actually be used for 100 years. The procedure for building a house is also very simple, just wrap the module in paper, and one can be built in one day, faster than ever. The most “superior” is that the “parcel house” is directly loaded by a truck, which is unrestricted like a mobile RV. It is ok to sit near the mountains and the sea, or live directly in nature. Once this kind of house was launched, netizens called out: “I don’t want to buy a house…”

But compared with the work of the 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner and Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, these paper buildings are just a foil. Shigeru Ban, who pushed “paper construction” to the top, is not good at corrugated cardboard, but paper tube.

In 1986, Shigeru Ban designed the pavilion for the solo exhibition of architect and home designer Alvar Aalto. Due to budget constraints and avoiding waste of resources, Ban replaced wood structures with renewable paper tubes as construction materials. Unexpectedly, his paper construction won Alva’s appreciation and won praise in the industry. Since then, Shigeru Ban began to conduct research on materials such as paper tubes, extrusion, and bending.

The construction of the venues of the World Exposition gave Shigeru Ban the opportunity to “try his sword.” Speaking of the construction of the World Expo venues, it has always been a headache for all countries. Where is the headache? Although the World Expo is a good investment opportunity, its buildings are built on the land of other countries. If it is built in a sloppy way, it will be difficult to attract the attention of investors for a while; if it is built too luxuriously and ostentatiously, the materials “shelved” cannot be “packaged” back to China, which will easily cause a waste of resources.

At this time, Shigeru Ban “rised up” and boldly undertook the construction of the Japan Pavilion at the World Expo, and built a huge network thin-shell structure with paper tubes. Using paper tube as a building material has many advantages. First, it has better heat and sound insulation performance, and second, the resources can be reused. Sure enough, after the World Exposition, Shigeru Ban removed the paper tube and “packed” it back to Japan to make a workbook for elementary school students.

Not only that, Shigeru Ban’s paper tube design also helped many countries survive the disaster.

In the 1994 civil war in Rwanda, Africa, Shigeru Ban used 50 paper tube tents to rescue hundreds of local victims. In 1995, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake occurred in Kobe, Japan. Shigeru Ban led students to quickly build countless paper-tube houses. He said: “People die not from the earthquake, but from the collapsed buildings.” The introduction of this paper building, While ensuring the living environment, it also reduced the casualties caused by aftershocks, which is a boon for countries in the earthquake zone.

Shigeru Ban’s largest paper building was the 24m paper tube church built after the 2012 Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand. This paper tube building still survives.

“Can the paper tube house really live in?” When some people questioned, Shigeru Ban’s answer was humorous: “Compared with reinforced concrete, this house has an advantage. If you run out of toilet paper, you can tear off the wall. Come down.”

Paper can not only make houses, but also furniture. For the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Shigeru Ban provided 18,000 paper beds for athletes. Although the Olympics could not be held as scheduled, these paper beds have shown people the latest concept of paper construction.

Although paper tube cannot replace reinforced concrete, it is also an innovation in the construction industry. I believe that the future will be the era of paper construction, and there will be more, more convenient and more practical paper constructions.