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A Look at Shigeru Ban's Minimalist Shelters for Earthquake Victims

We took a look at architect Shigeru Ban's super-strong tubes of rolled paper at his recent Hermès furniture booth in Milan, a joint effort with Jean de Gastines, and now Arch Record publishes photos of similar paper tubes, this time used to form shelters for earthquake victims in Japan. "Typical of these disasters, people are evacuated to locations under a big roof, such as gymnasiums," Ban told the New York Times in an interview back in March. "For the first few days, it’s O.K., but then people suffer because there’s no privacy between families."

Ban's been using paper poles since 1995, when he turned them into walls for victims of the Kobe earthquake; he's also used them in relief housing in the wake of the Rwanda genocide and in post-earthquake Chengdu, China. This latest system involves paper tubes—used as structural support and the perimeter—fit together with tape and white canvas partitioning sheets held together with safety pins. Each shelter creates one 161-square-foot area per family and costs $300 per unit. Ban has implied that he's going to keep on building 'em until all demands are met, regardless of cost, but donations can be made over here.

· Hèrmes Booth in Milana Uses Starchitect-Approved Cardboard [Curbed National]
· Shigeru Ban Offers Aid to His Native Japan [Arch Record]
· Shigeru Ban on Designing Shelters for Quake Victims [NYT]
· Shigeru Ban Architects [official site]