from now until october 8, 2018, the vancouver art gallery presents a full-scale version of shigeru ban’s kobe paper log house. under the direction of the acclaimed japanese architect, the institution has built a replica of his 15.8 square-meter structure utilizing readily sourced materials. as the founder of the voluntary architects network, ban designed the shelter using recyclable materials, particularly paper and cardboard. the exhibition also features a large photomural documenting ban’s ongoing disaster relief projects — a body of work that earned him the mother theresa award in 2017.

shigeru ban vancouver art gallery
a version of the 15.8 square-meter structure has been recreated
image courtesy of trevor mills, vancouver art gallery

 

 

in 1995, the coast of japan was hit by a 6.9 magnitude earthquake, with the major port city of kobe as its epicenter. over 6,000 people were killed, and 200,000 lost their homes. shigeru ban responded to the urgent need for temporary relief shelter by designing the kobe paper log house, which housed thousands of displaced residents. since its creation, ban has been called on by such organizations as the united nations to develop his innovative structures, regarded for their low cost, easy accessibility, and simple application.

shigeru ban vancouver art gallery
the design utilizes readily sourced materials
image courtesy of trevor mills, vancouver art gallery

 

 

‘for more than twenty years, shigeru ban’s designs have served as a prototype for housing displaced peoples caught in the grips of natural disasters and war around the world,’ says kathleen s. bartels, director of the vancouver art gallery. ‘based in a city known as a hub for green design and architecture, where the threat of an earthquake remains integral to building design choices, the gallery invites visitors to see up-close this remarkable work of sustainable design that has improved the lives of so many.’

shigeru ban vancouver art gallery
paper log house, kobe, japan, 1995
image courtesy of takanobu sakuma

 

 

‘offsite: shigeru ban’ is organized by the vancouver art gallery’s institute of asian art and curated by bruce grenville, senior curator. the project is on view at the gallery’s offsite location (1100 west georgia street) until october 8, 2018.

shigeru ban vancouver art gallerypaper log house, kobe, japan, 1995

image courtesy of hiroyuki hirai

shigeru ban vancouver art gallerypaper log house, turkey, 2000

image courtesy of shigeru ban architects

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