Emily Pilloton

SHIGERU BAN PAPER CHURCH

by , 07/30/07

Shigeru Ban, paper architecture, nagata-ku churge, kobe japan churge, japanese church, paper church, shigeru ban paper

It’s easy to get googly-eyed by the onslaught of amazing green design out there these days. But it’s also important to look back a bit at some of the architectural precedent and acknowledge a building like Shigeru Ban’s Paper Church as the forward-thinking innovative design that it was. Built in 1995 and disassembled in 2005, the Nagata-Ku church in Kobe, Japan was built by church volunteers whose house of worship was destroyed by the 1995 Kobe earthquake. Using 58 paper tubes, the church is simple in its elliptical shape, but a dramatic spatial experience that turns low-tech materials into spiritual space.


All the church’s materials were donated and construction was completed in only five weeks by the 160 volunteers. In plan, the church’s elliptical form is based on Bernini’s church designs.
After the church’s disassembly in 2005, all the materials were sent to a city in Taiwan for reconstruction. Here’s a great example of inexpensive, innovative design for a post-disaster context, proving that emergency architecture needn’t be sterile, ugly, ungreen, or pricey.

+ Shigeru Ban Architects

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11 Comments

  1. StevenCrook April 16, 2012 at 5:22 am

    Details of the paper church and it’s current location can be found here:
    http://www.guidegecko.com/taiwan/monuments-buildings/puli-paper-dome/p,608183157

  2. durango July 10, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    I like it, without patterns consumism, totally clear and new concept.
    I question, the architecture paper use come envolvemnts, ¿where i can see more about this?

  3. ArchitectsAnswer March 17, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    Holly,

    This is a very difficult thing to do. I think the goal of attracting younger people to church is a matter of church dogma and should not be a design problem. To do so would render your design and the church you are designing it for as a situationally locked as any fashion or trend that we young people cater to. Don’t fight this through shallow design trends, they age fast.

  4. holly December 1, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    I love all of these. they’re beautiful i am actually designing a church now and these have really helped me. if you have any suggestion on how to attract younger people to church please e-mail me.

  5. Cardboard Bridge at Sea... August 9, 2007 at 12:33 am

    [...] cardboard to be strong enough to build a bridge, but that’s exactly what ingenious architect Shigeru Ban decided to use to build a bridge across the Gardon River in his latest work of architectural [...]

  6. Idealities :: A cradboa... August 7, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    [...] cardboard to be strong enough to build a bridge, but that’s exactly what ingenious architect Shigeru Ban decided to use to build a bridge across the Gardon River in his latest work of architectural [...]

  7. Inhabitat » CARDB... August 7, 2007 at 3:44 am

    [...] cardboard to be strong enough to build a bridge, but that’s exactly what ingenious architect Shigeru Ban decided to use to build a bridge across the Gardon River in his latest work of architectural [...]

  8. Uros Vitas August 1, 2007 at 6:09 am

    Nice work:)

    Bibi Rogers – no need to cut trees to make paper tubes – wood industrial waste can be used.

  9. Bibi Rogers July 31, 2007 at 5:07 pm

    Fabulous….. but how many trees got choppes to make these 56 paper tubes?

  10. Michael July 31, 2007 at 9:38 am

    Beautiful and resourceful design.

  11. Warren Brooke July 30, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    I love it!

    But I’ve often wondered what happens to traditional Japanese paper construction in high humidity or rainy conditions. Do the building members change dimensions?

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