Finnish company Artek is no stranger to innovative, eco-conscious design. Pioneered in 1935 by legendary Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto, Artek’s design philosophy has always been about combining the systematic workings of the natural world with the clean-lined aesthetic of modernism. Shigeru Ban’s partnership with the company, then, makes perfect sense. The Japanese architect teamed up with Artek to build an eco-friendly pavillion for the Milan Furniture fair — made almost entirely out of recycled sticky labels. Recently reconstructed in Helsinki, the meticulously designed pavilion features a wood-plastic composite called ProFi.


Developed by Finnish paper company UPM, ProFi is constructed entirely out of the paper and plastic remnants of self-adhesive-labels which the company manufactures. Ban also resourcefully utilized the composite corner pieces which were initially used as packaging for the material itself. Durable and waterproof, the unique materiality of UPM’s product – which can be disposed of via incineration or recycled back into the production process – proves to be perfect for the construction of patios and playgrounds.

Watch the video of Shigeru Ban talking about the pavillion below..

Shigeru Ban interview on DesignBoom >

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