Contemporary Architecture



  • Born in 1957 in Tokyo, Japan
  • Shigeru Ban studied at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and later went on to Cooper Union’s School of Architecture
  • Profiled by Time Magazine in their projection of 21st century innovators in the field of architecture and design
  • Shigeru Ban was the winner in 2005 at age 48 of the 40th annual Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
  • Inspired by Architect John Hejduk
  • 2003 the finalist of the New York WTC Ground Zero Competition


  • Work reflects blend of his American Architectural training and his native Japanese influences.
  • Adopts a construction method in which the structure is integrated into an over all design.
  • Innovative exploration and Integration of materials so as to enhance their structural potential.
  • Materials ranging from Paper, wood, bamboo and steel.
  • As a Japanese architect….
  • …..uses themes and methods found in traditional Japanese architecture
  • …..the concept of modules taken forward – ‘Tatami’
  • —  Making the spaces free flowing with structures being ‘invisible’….
  • …..avoiding overtly expression of structural elements and incorporating it in the design….
  • As an Ecological architect….
  • …..” I don’t like waste” – Shigeru Ban
  • —  Most-famous now for his innovative work with paper and cardboard tubing as a material for building construction.
  • —  “…even in disaster areas, I want to create beautiful buildings, this is what it means to build a monument for common people…”
  • —  Known for his innovation with building materials

—  Known as the ‘Paper Architect’……


  • 2002 Forest Park Pavilion Prototype-Rice University Art Gallery, Houston, USA
  • 2000 PAM-A, Mishima, Shizuoka
  • 2000 Naked House, Kawagoe
  • 2000 Expo 2000 Hannover Japan Pavilion – Paper Tube Structure-13, Germany
  • 1999 Paper Tube shelters for refugees in Rwanda – Paper Tube Structure-10
  • 1997 Wall-less-House, Karuizawa, Nagano
  • 1995 Paper Church – Paper Tube Structure -08, Kobe, Hyogo
  • 1995 Paper Log House – Paper Tube Structure -07, Kobe, Hyogo, Bhuj
  • 1995 Curtain Wall House, Tokyo
  • 1994 Issey Miyake Gallery – Paper Tube Structure -06, Tokyo
  • 1991 Library of a poet – Paper Tube Structure -04, Zushi, Kanagawa
  • 1990Odawara Pavilion – Paper Tube Structure -02
  • 1987Villa K, Tateshina, Nagano
  • 1986Villa TCG, Tateshina, Nagano
  • 1986″Alvar Aalto” Exhibition design, Axis Gallery, Tokyo


  • This was the first project in which paper tubes were authorized for use as a structural basis in a permanent building.
  • a S-shape configuration comprised of 110 paper tubes (2.7m high, 275mm in inner diameter and 148mm thick) defines the interior and exterior areas of the paper house.
  • designing it in a big S-shaped circle, he retained the flow between inside and out with clear walls
  • tent-like curtains, which can be drawn for privacy in summer and shut in winter for warmth and insulation.
  • to link his interiors with the world outside.
  • “I always like to connect inside and outside space and make a kind of intermediate space in between”
  • The large circle formed by the interior tubes forms a big area
  • a free standing paper tubes column with a 1.2m diameter in the surrounding gallery contains a toilet
  • the exterior paper tubes surrounding the courtyard stand apart from the structure and serve as a screen
  • the living area in the large circle is without furnishing or details other than an isolated kitchen counter, sliding doors, and movable closets
  • the roof, supported by the colonnade of paper tubes, is visually emphasized


—  Ban assembled a team of students from his research center  banlab, and the Hironori Matsubara Lab at Keio University, along with volunteer teachers from around China, who were assigned by the country’s education ministry.

—  They can be moulded into load-bearing columns, bent into trusses and rapidly assembled, and can be made waterproof and fire resistant. Because paper tubes are available in various thickness and diameters, they can be added to a structure to support more weight as necessary.

—  The roofs are made of plywood, and polycarbonate and PTFE was used as insulation


—  Project completion date : August 2002

—  Set in a context of a private house and two storey regional hospital building

—  The main volume of the structure functions as a gymnasium as well as concert hall and annex spaces of the ellipse contain swimming pool, changing room and piano room.

—  980 square meter space enclosed by an elliptical dome.

—  The dome is constructed with LSL (laminated strand lumber) and steel pipe members

—  It has classic styles of Japanese technical purism by means of a construction method characteristic of technological globalization process.

—  The main structure is placed underground, only the dome and the eaves of the two entrances are visible

—  The region is known for its heavy snowfall piling up to shoulder heights.

—  The aesthetic structural components enhance the lighting quality of the space.

—  The plan of the dome is elliptical and is supported by 2 sets of arches.


—  Arches spanning in one direction generate lateral stability for arches in other direction

—  Pentagonal trussed arch along minor axis provide space within themselves for Vierendeel arches spanning along major axis

—  Interconnection of two arches in opposite direction generates multi skinned grid dome as one structure.

—  The whole assembly is then covered with strips of light weight polycarbonate sheets thus allowing diffused light to enter the space.

—  Both Arches are composed of LSL (Laminated Strand Lumber) and steel pipe sections and plates.

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