We know celebrated Japanese architect Shigeru Ban best for his innovative paper tube architecture, but the Pritzker Prize laureate has surprised us with the announcement of a new building material. Ban recently unveiled a plan to reuse brick salvaged from collapsed buildings as construction material for transitional relief shelters that will serve the refugees of April’s devastating 7.8-magnitude Nepal earthquake. These shelters will be assembled from a modular wooden frameworks filled in with brick rubble.
Shigeru Ban and his humanitarian organization Volunteer Architects Network (VAN) announced plans to build emergency shelters for Nepal back in May, but it wasn’t until now that the prototype designs were released. Each modular structure will measure three feet by seven feet and can be assembled very quickly and at a low cost. Brick rubble can be easily collected and stacked inside the wooden frames. The roof trusses will be made from local paper tubes and covered with a plastic sheet.
The building style references local Nepalese architecture, particularly with the foldout windows. Ban’s proposed transitional houses are the second step in VAN’s three-stage relief plan; the first stage involved distribution of makeshift shelters and medical supplies in the days immediately following the earthquake. The first built prototype of the brick transitional house will be constructed by the end of August. Ban is expected to unveil his designs for permanent housing, as part of the third and final stage, soon.
Images via Shigeru Ban