Japanese architect Shigeru Ban designed the Paper Log House with his non-governmental organization, Voluntary Architects’ Network, which he founded in 1995. The Log House was created as a shelter for victims of natural disasters in response to the Great Hanshin earthquake in Kobe, Japan. The model was also installed in Antalya as a school building after the 2023 Turkey-Syria earthquake. It is intended to be easy and quick to construct, and also quite economical. The Pritzker Architecture-prize winning architect has now designed the latest prototype of the Paper Log House for Morocco since it was devastatingly hit by the earthquake on September 8th, 2023.
Designer: Shigeru Ban
The 6.8 magnitude earthquake caused innumerable damage to buildings and claimed over 3000 lives. The prototype is constructed using cardboard tubes, which gives the structure its name. The cardboard tubes function as the columns of the house, and are used to accommodate prefab wood panels. These wood panels form the walls, floor, and roof. The various components are elevated above the ground using a base created from plastic beer crates filled with sandbags. The temporary shelter has been constructed at the National School of Architecture of Marrakech as a symbol of hope, resilience, and support in an extremely difficult time.
Besides providing support through structures and architecture, Shigeru Ban also held a lecture on September 27 where he introduced the Paper Log House and his knowledge and experience in post-disaster support. He also stayed back in Marrakech to visit the affected areas and find potential locations for the Paper Log House.
Shigeru Ban’s humanitarian effort is truly commendable. He is providing valuable support and shelter to victims. In fact, his involvement in disaster relief is spread over three decades, taking into account his work across the globe over the years, from Kobe to L’Aquila, Turkey to Haiti!